PAEW chairman addresses Muscat water woes

  

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015

Muscat: The Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) has taken several steps to address the water shortage in Muscat, PAEW chairman Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Mahrouqi has said.

“We have dug up wells and began pumping water and distributing them to water tankers at filling stations in Al Khoudh, Wadi Uddy, Barka, Baushar, Ezz and Abu Khaisa,” Al Mahrouqi said at a press conference on Monday.

A number of areas in Muscat have been facing a shortage in water supply due to low water pressure and increased consumption during summer.

In some areas of the city, residents had to buy water.

“Every week we are spending 25 Omani rials and we have to queue up in the scorching sun just to have a chance to buy water from a tanker,” Ahmad Al Beloushi, a Wadi Kabir resident told Gulf News.

Last week, PAEW said it had started trial operations at the Ghubrah water desalination plant. The plant can cover the shortages in water supply for Muscat residents and is expected to start operations on July 2.

While 84,000 cubic metres per day have been added, there is still a 43,000 cubic metre shortage per day.

Al Mahrouqi assured residents that PAEW is finding ways to make sure the most affected areas are being served first.

“We have set up several tanks with 5,000 gallon capacity in various parts of Muttrah to supply water to users 24 hours a day,” he added.

“We have also been in constant contact with consumers to understand their water consumption needs, especially hospitals and medical centres,” Al Mahrouqi said.

Several Omani ministers have asked PAEW to increase the number of staff at their call centre to deal with consumer complaints as well as to construct more mobile desalination plants.

The ministers visited PAEW on Sunday, saying that the company should be held accountable for the delays.

PAEW is blaming the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) for the delay thus far.

OPWP said that by September Ghubrah plant is expected to pump out an estimated 42 million gallons of water daily.

The estimated cost of the project is about 98 million Omani rials.

An interruption last May at the Sohar desalination plant caused shortages in three governorates and affected some 250,000 people.

By Fahad Al Mukrashi Correspondent

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