Ban on construction of new water wells near aflaj

MUSCAT: The Omani laws regarding regulation and protection of aflaj sites listed on the World Heritage list have emphasised that aflaj’s management will be carried out in adherence to the aflaj’s traditional system known in Oman.
The ministry has the right to set all procedures needed to protect this system. Mainly, the law has banned the construction of new water wells in the area surrounding the falaj but the licensed exploration and control of wells will be excluded.
It also bans any changes on water wells existing in the catchment area feeding the falaj unless a permit is obtained from the ministry.
The law stipulates that a licence should be given for carrying out any amendments or maintenance works for the aflajs.
Additionally, it bans any action that allows the aflaj water to be polluted either by making any physical, chemical or organic changes to its specifications.
Meanwhile, the construction of residential unit in the water catchment area or the falaj site is banned unless he/she gets a licence from the competent authorities.
The regulatory law bans setting water tankers to monopolise drainage water at the water catchment area or the falaj site if there is no licence issued by the ministry.
The law bans conducting changes on the archeological and heritage buildings existing at the falaj site without having a permit from the bodies concerned.
The law states that land usage at the falaj site cannot be changed unless there is a licence obtained from the authorities concerned.
Firmer penalties have been imposed on those people violating these regulations.

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