Wadi Dayqah water scheme to revive agriculture in Qurayat

The once-famed fruit orchards of Qurayat Wilayat in Muscat Governorate, which were all but devastated in the floodwaters of Cyclone Gonu in 2007, will enjoy a new lease of life when a potable water scheme designed to harness the surface water resources of the nearby Wadi Dayqah Dam is operational by the year 2022.
According to a report by the Supreme Council for Planning (SCP), the project will have important ramifications for the wilayat’s once lucrative agriculture industry.
“The dam will contribute to the development of agriculture in the wilayat of Qurayat due to the availability of a cost-effective, sustainable, and quality water supply, which will increase agricultural economic return, thus leading to the development of this sector in the Sultanate,” the planning authority said.
“The development of agriculture will lead to agricultural products diversification and build a new generation of farmers who use modern irrigation techniques, turning agriculture into a stable and profitable source of income. The dam will also reduce the impact of droughts,” the Supreme Council of Planning noted in the report outlining the government’s efforts in meeting the long-term potable water requirements of Oman’s growing population.
Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the nation’s sole offtaker of electricity and water output, has launched a competitive process for the procurement of an Independent Water Project (IWP) that will harness Wadi Dayqah’s surface water potential.
In April, the utility — part of Nama Group — invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) from interested private investors for the development of the nation’s first-ever IWP based on the treatment of surface water resources.
The IWP centres on the development, financing, design, engineering, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of a surface water treatment plant with a net production capacity of 125,000 m3 per day (27.5 MIGD — million imperial gallons per day). The project is scheduled for commercial launch by October 31, 2022, with around 72,000 m3 per day (9.2 MIGD) of capacity to be brought on stream by April 1, 2022.
According to the Supreme Council for Planning, the Wadi Dayqah dam project will supply drinking water sustainably to some of the wilayats and villages of Muscat Governorate. “This will help meet the growing demand for potable water owing to steady population growth, in addition to improving living conditions and eliminating diseases related to water quality, as well as easing pressure on desalination plants and coastal aquifers, thus alleviating the problem of seawater intrusion threatening coastal farmlands,” it said.