Oman increased the amount of water it produces by 6 per cent to 300 million m3 in 2015, the Omani Public Authority for Electricity and Water’s (PAEW) annual report shows.

However, the report revealed that 30 per cent of the country’s water is lost, either through leakage, overflow of reservoirs, or inaccurate recording of data.

Oman is currently reviewing the structure of its water sector with a view to introducing a system of regulation to oversee PAEW’s activities.

A new reverse osmosis desalination plant due to open in Ghubra, a suburb of the capital city Muscat, in summer 2015 overran its schedule, finally starting to operate in February 2016. It is replacing an older facility in the area that will be decommissioned in stages to 2018.

“PAEW continues to follow the government’s policy of reducing reliance on groundwater wells for drinking water supplies, and our plans envisage increasing reliance on large scale desalination as the main source of drinking water in Oman,” the report said.

Water demand is increasing at a rate of 15 per cent a year, although this has fallen from 20 per cent in the late 1990s.

Supply of water in Oman is dominated by large scale desalination facilities, which account for 76 per cent of production, while small desalination plants produce 4 per cent, and 20 per cent comes from wells.

In July, Oman outlined plans for a new 100,000 m3/d project, known as Salalah IV, to complete by 2021, while the award of contracts for the proposed Salalah III scheme is due this year.

A additional desalination plant to be built by Hyflux at Qurayyat, Oman, by 2017, was announced in June.