RO 32 million projects to meet water demand

The Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) has lined up RO 32 million worth of projects to meet the ever-growing demand for water in the Sultanate.
The demand for potable water is rising at the rate of 15 per cent every year, thanks to rapid urbanisation in the country.
Among the projects are new reservoirs with emergency feeder systems (1,600 mm pipelines) alongside the existing 1,000 mm and 600 mm pipelines.
The authority hopes to cater to both residential and commercial requirements through these systems.
“We have added six new reservoirs in wilayats and improved the basic water distribution infrastructure. We have bigger transmission lines, new reservoirs and new emergency response systems to face future challenges,” Abdullah Ahmed al Arafati, Senior Manager, Muscat Operations, PAEW, told the Observer.
The Qurayat Water Desalination Plant, which will be operational by end of this year, will produce 200,000 cubic metres of water a day. It will cater to areas from Qurayat to Amerat. The Barka plant, which will be ready by mid-2018, will produce 281,000 cubic metres of water a day and cater to areas in Al Dakhiliyah and Seeb.
The third plant in Suhar will produce 250,000 cubic metres of water a day and serve North and South Al Batinah, Al Buraimi and the Al Dhahirah governorates (in future).
The three desalination plants are owned by private investors and the PAEW will be purchasing water from them for both residential and commercial needs. “Now we have the capacity to distribute potable water better than ever before. In the past, we used to have pipeline bursts and water shortages. These incidents will be a story of the past.”
As against the old 600 mm pipelines, PAEW has started using 1,000 mm and 1,600 mm pipelines to cater to the needs of the capital. Also, the storage capacity has been increased to meet the emergency needs.
Emergency reservoirs can store and supply water for 48 hours and are located in Qurum, Wattayah and Wadi Kabir.
After a visit to a key water network monitoring division at Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) in Bausher and other pumping stations, Abdullah said “top quality systems” were in place to deliver the best services.
“We constantly monitor the quality of water distributed in Muscat Governorate on a five-point parameter, including alkalinity, TDS conductivity, fluoride, PH and chlorine. We also follow an Omani standard of water quality being monitored 24X7 at SCADA.”
SCADA is a computer system for gathering and analysing real-time data.
“At PAEW, we have three transmission lines: old 600mm and 1,000mm lines and the new 1,600mm lines. Linking all these three water supply networks will help feed water from Al Ghubra Feeding Station towards Muscat main reservoir and other reservoirs in Qurum, Wattayah, Amerat, Ruwi, Wadi Kabir, Al Bustan, Bausher and Qantab.”