Tankers ease water woes, pipeline work begins

MUSCAT: Scores of water tankers were pressed to duty across the capital city as water supply was partly affected after a major upgradation work of the main water pipeline began on Thursday in Muscat governorate.

Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) has earlier announced the implementation of linking three strategic projects during February 12 to 14, as part of its plan to deal with the potential shortfall in water supply in the future.

While many areas like Darsait and Wadi Adai were affected since morning, other areas are yet to experience the shortage in regular water supply.

Regular water supply will be affected in areas of Al Khuwair (except Al Khuwair 25), Al Qurum, MSQ, Hay al Sarooj, Madinat al Ilam, Ministries and Embassies District, Watayyah, Wilayats of Boushar, Muscat, Amerat and Mutrah till tomorrow.

Citizens and residents were seen standing in queue to collect the water pouches being distributed by the Public Authority for Electricity and Water at all major points of the city. PAEW officials reiterated the citizens and residents to be moderate in their water consumption these days to avoid unexpected stoppage of water. “We advise people to take necessary precautionary measures to avoid any water crisis during the three days when regular water supply will be stopped and tanker filling provided to support the people with sufficient water”, Hafiz bin Ali al Hasani, Director of Communications at PAEW told the Observer.

Families were said to have sufficient stock of water as the announcement of the pipeline work was announced some weeks ago.

“We have sufficient stock of water probably enough to run till Friday. We are looking forward to collecting water from the water tankers on Friday”, Waleed, a resident of Ruwi said.

“The Authority has been implementing a number of water projects that contribute to the upgrading of this vital sector in the various governorates of the Sultanate, in line with the needs and plans for development of the country”, Hafiz added.

“The various sources to achieve water self-reliance are augmentation of the current sources of water, creation of new desalination plants, increased storage capacity and expansion of water networks to increase the proportion of network coverage”, he added.

Accordingly, the march towards self-reliance in potable water production and distribution involves three strategic projects, the first one which is the new water line of 1600 mm diameter which extends from the Ghobra Desalination Plant till Old Muscat area.

The second one is the establishment of new pumping station in Ghobra expected to be completed by the end of August 2015, which would produce 42 million gallons per day.

The third project will be new emergency reservoirs which is designed to store water quantities sufficient for 7 days in the event of stoppage of water desalination plants artistic or natural causes. This project is expected to be completed by May this year.

He further said that these projects aim at achieving the Authority’s Strategic Development Plan 2040 to cover 98per cent of the governorates of the Sultanate with safe drinking water

Meanwhile, there was shortage of plastic water cans in areas affected by water crisis. Sunny, a resident of Wadi Adai, has been searching stores for the past 2 days in his area, Ruwi and Muttrah to buy cans to store enough water to tide over the crisis. “To my disappointment these cans were not available or sold out. Finally, I had to settle for buckets but I am afraid these buckets will not help me to transport some water from houses of friends where there is no shortage”, he told the Observer.

On the other hand, while the city was reeling under lack of regular water supply, a water supply pipe was broken in Al Khuweir Ministries Area and traffic was affected around this area immediately after office hours. Residents complained that the water clog was seen till yesterday evening.

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER

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