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Spatial Assessment of Water Quantity Stress in Sultanate of Oman Provinces: a GIS Based Analysis of Water Resources Variability
Water quantity planning and management require understanding of spatial variations of water catchment availability. Several environmental indicators are associated with water quantity such as flood occurrence, drought severity, seasonal supply and groundwater stress. Analyzing water stress at national geographic scale is crucial to detect and explore geographic shortage of water resources at national scale. In this study, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) techniques were employed to analyze the spatial variations of water scarcity across Sultanate of Oman provinces. For this main objective, various spatial and attribute datasets were prepared. Many variables were selected based on their importance and correlation with water quantity. GIS overlay function then was used to produce maps for each water indicator. This was followed by employing raster zonal statistics to aggregate the values of each catchment area within each province. The findings of this analysis indicated that significant spatial variation was found among Omani provinces in terms of water quantity stress and its determinants. The most important factors affecting the water quantity stress were drought severity and flood occurrence. Furthermore, physical risk of water quantity was higher in Mascut and Dhofar provinces while it was moderate in Al-Batinah, A'Dakhiliyah and Al-Wusta. Lower risk of water quantity was observed in A'Sharqiyah, Masandam, and A'Dhahriah provinces. Thus, in order to mitigate the impacts of water scarcity on agriculture, cultivation and domestic usages, policy makers in water sector should include spatial strategies for water resource maintain and allocation.
GIS, Spatial Assessment, Water Quantity, Omani Provinces.
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