Muscat – The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) is making headway with three important dam projects in Dhahirah and Muscat governorates, aimed at bolstering water resource management and supporting local agriculture.
In Dhahirah’s Yanqul wilayat, the Al Shuiya Dam construction is now in the final phase, with 60% of the work complete. This dam of 9m height and 12m width is part of broader efforts to augment groundwater reservoirs, thereby enhancing irrigation for local farms and orchards and providing substantial support to farmers and fortifying the agricultural sector.
Additionally, the ministry confirmed the ongoing construction of flood protection dams in Seeb and Amerat in Muscat governorate. Once complete, the Al Jifnain Dam in Seeb will have storage capacity of about 11.4mn m3. As of now, 93% of construction work is complete.
The Al Jufainah Dam in Amerat is nearing completion with 94% of construction work done. It will have storage capacity of 15.7mn m3.
According to an official of MAFWR, construction of the groundwater recharge dam in Al Shuiya is in line with the ministry’s efforts of preserving natural water sources. Dams play an important role in managing water resources by storing water, which in turn supports the agricultural sector.
Highlighting the significance of these projects, the official pointed out that Oman’s groundwater constitutes 94% of its fresh water resources. Exploratory drilling is currently being undertaken at several sites, including Masarat water basin, Sharqiyah Sands water basin, Runab water basin and the Najd basin to tap into these reserves.
Oman has constructed 181 dams – 63 underground feeders, 115 surface storage facilities and three protective dams – all aimed at improving water security.
According to MAFWR, the country grapples with water deficit of 316mn m3 annually. The increasing strain on the available 1,318mn m3 of renewable water, especially from the agricultural sector which consumes around 83% of the nation’s yearly water needs, underscores the urgency of such projects.