Sanitation, Electricity and Water Resources Legislations
A number of government institutions and companies undertake the responsibility of regulating electricity and water sectors and sanitation management in accordance with the legislations and laws issued in this field, including the Public Authority for Electricity and Water, Authority for Electricity Regulation, as well as, many companies working in the field of electricity distribution and water purification. These different institutions provide necessary services for all citizens and residents within an integrated system.
"Water Resources Protection Act" was issued by Royal Decree No. (29/2000) after the issuance of Decree No. (82/88), which stated water as "a national treasure"; and the government pursued a plan and water policy to increase water resources to the extent commensurate with the aspirations of the country in this area without giving up the rationalization policies that will remain a proof of the ability of citizens to preserve water resources.
The Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources issued Regulations on Wells and Aflaj and Regulations for Organizing the Use of Water Desalination Units in Wells to regulate the work, rationalize consumption of natural resources and organize the various services and projects.
The main objectives of water resources sector include the following:
- Secure potable water sources and work to achieve a balance between water uses and renewable resources.
- Develop and conserve water resources against depletion and pollution and rationalize water consumption.
- Establish the principles of water conservation and increase awareness of the importance of rational use.
In the area of electric power, Royal Decree No. (2004/78) "Law of regulation and privatization of electricity and related water sector" (Arabic Only) was issued and the Authority for Electricity Regulation was established in accordance with Article 19 of this law.
And in the field of sanitation, the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources has set the sanitation law, which was completed at February of this year. The law defines sewage networks and the means by which it should be organized. However, the presence of 63 sewage plants in the Sultanate and the fact that only 24 of them are linked to sewage stations is one of the reasons for the need to prepare this law, knowing that the lack of an integrated network leads to 80% of groundwater pollution with sewage.
As for waste management, the Sultanate takes the issue of protecting the environment very seriously, and therefore many Royal Decrees and ministerial decisions were issued to protect the environment and regulate the ways and means of waste management, including:
- Ministerial Decision No. 17/93 for Non-hazardous Solid Waste Management.
- Ministerial Decision No. 18/93 for Hazardous Waste Management.
- Ministerial Decision No. 159/2005 Issuing the Regulations on the Discharge of Liquid Waste into the Marine Environment.
- Royal Decree No. 26/81 Approving of the Government of the Sultanate of Oman to Join the Convention of Preventing Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes.
- Royal Decree No. 88/2002 on the Ratification of Decision No. 3-1 Ratified in the Conference of Basel Convention Parties to Control the Transport and Disposal of Waste Across the Borders.
- Royal Decree No. 24/2007 Ratifying the Protocol on the Control of Maritime Transport and Disposal of Hazardous Waste and Other Waste Across the Borders.
- Royal Decree No. 27/2013 on Joining the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
Thus, the Sultanate is keen to impose strict sanctions and fines on anyone who violates the laws of waste management, the fines could reach up to RO million in cases such as poor management of nuclear waste.