DIAM has launched an international tender to complete the detailed consultancy studies of the water storage and recovery project from aquifers, for the sites that were identified in the first phase of the project as the most promising for this type of project.
During the past year, DIAM conducted, in cooperation with the relevant government entities, an economic and technical feasibility study to implement the water storage and recovery project from aquifers (ASR) in the Sultanate. The study concluded with positive indicators for the implementation of the project, where about 14 sites were found suitable for the implementation of the project in a number of the wilayats of the Sultanate, of which four sites were labelled as are more suitable and encouraging sites: Al Khoudh in the Wilayat of Seeb, Adam Wilayat, the As Sharqiyah Sands and Wadi Abu Karba in Dhank Wilayat. This project is considered one of the strategic projects that help optimizing the exploitation of the water produced from desalination plants and contributes to achieving water security, especially in emergency situations.
An international tender has been launched to attract international companies specialized in such projects, and the scope of work in the tender includes carrying out detailed studies of the four most encouraging sites with the accompanying project of exploratory drilling, geological and hydrogeological analyses and the implementation of a pilot project for one of the sites.
The ASR system is expected to provide cost effective solutions to meet the growing demand for water in the Sultanate, as the water will be stored in periods of low consumption and then used in cases of peak water demand or in emergency situations. The economic feasibility of this system stems from storing water in aquifers, being underground solutions instead of building huge concrete water tanks above ground.
It is worth noting that the main reason for applying the water storage and recovery system from underground reservoirs in many countries of the world is the low economic cost of the system for providing water during peak demand periods. This system could provide large quantities when demand is highest at low cost, which is not available from alternative options that require the construction of additional desalination plants or expensive concrete water tanks on the surface of the earth. The system will also contribute effectively in emergency situations in the event of seawater pollution or the occurrence of the “red tide” phenomenon in the seas of Oman. An initial indicator shows the possibility of establishing projects that have enough storage capacity for three months of demand, each with a recovery capacity of more than 90,000 cubic meters per day.
It is expected that the demand for water will increase by an average of about 5% annually during the next seven years, which requires searching for the best options needed to strengthen the potable water supply system.