Countries all over the world right now are suffering from the effects of climate change. Within the region, access to water has become more challenging posing threats not just to potable water but to food production in areas like Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Iran.
The Middle East is also impacted by desertification — a process in which fertile land becomes arid and loses its productivity thereby affecting farmers and their production of food and crops.
Oman is one of the countries in MENA that has been blessed with diverse landscapes and fertile soil that make agriculture a reliable source of food for its citizens and residents. The time-tested falaj system — the lifeblood of the country's agriculture continues to be a fine example of resilience allowing farmers even in remote locations to grow different crops.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries strives to achieve water sustainability in various regions of the Sultanate. Aside from educating farmers and fishermen concerning a sustainable livelihood, their efforts also continue to make sure that everyone is doing their bit into saving the planet.
Within Oman, the ministry has been developing Wadi Kaa’ Dam in the Wilayat of Mirbat to create a more sustainable water resource for the governorate of Dhofar.
Engineer Ali bin Bakhit Bait Saeed, Director of the Water Resources Department at the General Directorate of Agricultural, Fisheries and Water Resources in Dhofar, said that the ministry pays attention to water projects to reduce the use of groundwater by constructing 13 surface storage dams in areas that suffer from water scarcity in the governorate.
Wadi Kaa’ Dam is one of the most prominent of these dams. It was established in 2019 with a length of 45 meters and a height of 8 meters. It is one of the projects of surface storage dams in the villages located in the mountainous areas of Mirbat used to sequester part of the rainwater and save it to benefit the people during periods of drought.
The storage capacity of Wadi Kaa’ Dam is estimated at about 2016 cubic meters, and it is used for watering plants and feeding animals and for daily use for some households that live around the area of the dam.
Over the year, the dam is also becoming a local attraction not just to locals but also to tourists. During khareef, the large volume of water feeds the nearby lands creating a green, tropical paradise that is becoming a crowd favourite. Different animals are also attracted by this greenery and visits are not limited to land animals but also birds.
After every rain, the areas around the dam are also transformed into stunning waterfalls. These waterfalls led to beautiful ponds where people are often seen frolicking and swimming.
Wadi Kaa’ is located in the upper part of Wadi Ain in the Wilayat of Mirbat. It is one of the four valleys including Awbadi, Aqdat, Kaa’ and Thukab that flow into Wadi Ain Al-Kabeer, where the site of Kaa’ Dam is about 25 km from the centre of the Wilayat.
The Ministry of Agricultural Wealth, Fisheries and Water Resources is making great efforts to enhance water resources, develop its sources, and maintain them in line with Oman’s 2040 vision.