WIT Press

Sustainable aflaj Water Management In Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Sultanate Of Oman


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27 - 38




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Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. S. Al-Kalbani, M. F. Price


The aflaj system is a unique water resource for Omani society, culture and heritage and it is the most important for agriculture communities in Al Jabal Al Akhdar. In this paper, the Driving forces-Pressure-State-Impact-Responses (DPSIR) framework was applied as an assessment approach aiming to propose policies for sustainable aflaj water management in Al Jabal Al Akhdar, which has experienced rapid development over the last decades. The framework revealed that the main Driving forces are agriculture, tourism, socioeconomic development and urbanization, leading to Pressures including excessive use and mismanagement of aflaj for irrigation, compounded by climate change, with increasing temperatures and a decrease in rainfall. As a result, the State of the flows of the aflaj and their numbers has decreased, and their water quality has deteriorated and is no longer used for drinking. Consequently, this Impacts on human welfare due to the reduction in the cultivated area, and therefore losses in agricultural economic returns. Existing Responses included issuing laws and regulations, institutional development, and projects such as aflaj maintenance and dams construction. The DPSIR analysis concluded that the implementation of integrated aflaj water management through conservation practices and increased water use efficiency, in conjunction with climate change mitigation and adaptation, are a must when formulating and implementing policies to ensure the sustainability of the area’s aflaj system and agricultural communities.


DPSIR framework, aflaj, groundwater, agriculture communities, climate change, sustainable management, Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman