Underground options for increasing emergency drinking water capacity

Study in the Sultanate of Oman launched this month

A feasibility and site investigation study into artificial aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) applications in the Sultanate of Oman started the 1st of March as a joint venture of AZD Engineering consultancy (https://azdengineering.com/), Consulaqua (https://www.consulaqua.de/startseite) and Acacia Water.


AZD Engineering consultancy, Consulaqua Hamburg and Acacia Water joined forces to study the feasibility of one or more ASR well fields to support Omani drinking water supply. The project, that was launched this month and will last for one year, will focus on four high potential sites that were selected during a pre-feasibility study. The Public Authority for Water (PAW) in Oman has commissioned this project with the aim of enhancing the water supply security in the Sultanate of Oman and to optimize production capacities against seasonal patterns and effects.


The PAW is considering several options to create strategic storage and spare and emergency capacity for the drinking water production and transmission facilities. The pre-feasibility study (Phase 1) showed that ASR does offer potential as water supply backup in emergency cases and during normal operation of the water network. ASR works by storing the potential surplus from desalination plants through wells in the underground, in the aquifer, and this water can be in turn later recovered whenever needed.


The feasibility study (Phase 2) that started the first of March will analyse the ASR potential of four locations in the following areas: Muscat, Interior plan, Al Massarat and Ash Sharqiyah Sands. After a first inception report, a geophysical survey will be carried out to map the aquifer properties. The survey together with the prospection and monitoring through borehole drilling and pumping tests will provide very valuable information on the aquifer site-specific characteristics. By means of computational modelling the international team will be able to forecast and analyse different possible implementation scenarios, which together with the economic analysis, will be able to produce a cost-benefit analysis per unit price. As a result, conceptual designs will be drawn that include cost estimations and that will lead to the final design and specifications. The project will end with a tender preparation for Phase 3, expected to happen in over 12 months. Throughout the project there will be several meetings and a workshop with all key stakeholders.



The international consortium in charge of this study is formed by one of the leading local Engineering consultants in Oman: AZD engineering, by Consulaqua Hamburg, a German consultancy specialized in sustainable solutions for water utilities and by Acacia Water a leading supplier of water consultancy services based in The Netherlands with worldwide reach.


For more information about this project please contact our colleague Harmen van den Berg (mailto:Harmen.vandenberg@acaciawater.com)

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