Water is a precious commodity across the globe and particularly in semi-arid and arid countries like Sultanate of Oman and is already an important international issue due to rapidly depleting fresh water resources of the world. In the Sultanate, groundwater is the major source of fresh water, which is facing serious threat from pollution due to oil-spills on the ground, saltwater intrusion due to excessive pumping and contamination arising from the mining and agricultural operations.
Another issue of major concern is the coastal and marine pollution in and around the Sultanate. The Sultanate has a 1700 km long coastline, which is being affected by oil-related pollution due to ballast water and other operational discharges from ships passing through the Gulf of Oman . A high degree of coastal pollution not only affects the aquatic life, but also has implications on the availability of desalinated water (the Arabian Gulf countries host 70 percent of the world’s facilities of desalinated water).
The need thus arises for a forum where research activities pertaining to water can be organized at SQU, national and international levels. There is also a need to effectively disseminate information to the government and public bodies in order to enhance the knowledge and awareness regarding water related issues.