On 29 April a workshop took place at the office of Diam, the Public Authority for Electricity & Water of Oman, to introduce its staff members to Watershare and to explore options for collaboration in the platform. As a recently welcomed member, Diam is keen to interact with Watershare members in order to further develop the high-level water services in Oman.
After being given an introduction to Watershare, Diam staff members spoke of their authority’s ongoing ambitions and the challenges it faces. As a government organisation, Diam provides high-quality, sustainable and reliable drinking water and power services to all of the people of the Sultanate of Oman. The Sultanate, in particular Muscat, is experiencing rapid urbanisation and economic growth. Given the arid climatic conditions and scarcity of freshwater resources, these developments exert considerable pressure on the supply services.
It was concluded during the workshop that the Watershare Communities of Practice cover many topics of relevance for Diam. Several options for cooperation were identified. These range from knowledge exchange on practical topics, such as best disinfection practices, to more strategic challenges. Examples of the latter are the assessment of the resilience of the current Diam water system under various future scenarios, and a comparison (stress-test) of potential alternative upgrades of the system through adapted network configurations and non-conventional resources, including treated wastewater.
The participants also discussed Watershare tools that Diam might usefully implement. The authority has already implemented the Self-Cleaning Networks tool for a more cost-effective and water-quality oriented design of water distribution systems. This tool appears to provide useful support to the network design practices of Diam. The implementation of other tools will be explored in the near future.
The workshop showed the benefits of the Watershare platform: unlocking global knowledge for local applications. At the same time Watershare has benefited from Diam’s knowledge and practices under stress conditions typical for the Gulf region.