The Public Authority for Water (Diam) is exploring the potential to deploy Water from Air technology as a new source of drinking water supply to remote communities in the Sultanate.
The move, according to a high-level official, is one of two novel initiatives which will be trialled by the Authority in a bid to support sustainable potable water supplies to far-flung areas based on clean energy and low-cost technologies.
Water from Air systems also known as Atmospheric Water Generators produce pure water from air in low quantities, said Abdullah al Naimi, General Manager (Operations) at Diam. This technology is aimed for remote locations with low water demand and non-availability of power supply, he stated in a presentation to delegates at the Water for Agriculture forum organised by MEDRC on Tuesday.
The other process that Diam plans to pilot in the Sultanate is based on solar water technology, said the official. He explained: Solar Water Technology is a breakthrough, innovative solution for the generation of fresh water in a carbon neutral and completely sustainable manner. The technology utilises the concentrating power of sunlight directed to seawater in order to superheat, evaporate, condensate and precipitate as fresh water.
Omans continued reliance on energy-intensive seawater desalination processes to support the countrys potable water requirements is becoming increasingly untenable in the face of burgeoning demand growth, according to the official. Although technological advances have cut capital costs and energy consumption levels, desalination projects are still not a cheap option, he warned.
In response, Diam has turned to the private sector to invest in small-scale desalination capacity in areas unserved by the main grids. These projects, developed on the Build-Own-Operate (BOO) model, allow the Authority to purchase only the water it requires through Water Purchase Agreements, he said.
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