Water resources management is a continuous challenge in the Sultanate of Oman. Owing to its rapid development during the last 30 years, the growing economy has brought an increase in urbanization with a high demand for quality water supplies. Increasing demands to be met include agriculture, population increase and rapid industrial and commercial development. These factors have created a lot of stress in the water resources availability in the country. This has resulted in degradation of the quality of the water especially in the coastal areas owing to over-pumping and saline intrusion. To satisfy water users' requirements and safeguard the scarce water resources in the country, an integrated water resources management plan is proposed. This plan is based on the perception of water as an integral part of the ecosystem, a natural resource and a social and economic good, whose quantity and quality determines the nature of its utilization. The integrated approach will review the current water resources situation in the Sultanate of Oman (increasing water shortages, deteriorating water quality, stress in water supplies, etc) and incorporate policy options that recognize these elements, develop national water policy and base the demand for and allocation of water resources on equity and efficient use. The Integrated Water Resources Management Plan (IWRMP) will also consider the capacity building of the human resources working in the water sector, the development of new institutions that will serve and match this goal, the integration of water planning into the national economy and, more significantly, community participation.

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