Many countries around the world celebrated February 2 as World Wetlands Day and Oman has more reasons than many others to be proud of the system it has created.
In fact one of Oman’s wetland, the Nimr Water Treatment Project (NWTP) in south Oman, is billed as the largest industrial constructed wetland system in the world.
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and Bauer Nimr are joint venture partners in the desert greening initiative, which has contributed to significant carbon dioxide emission reductions.
The main purpose of this wetland was to reuse brackish treated effluent water which is a major by-product of oil refining. The large experimental field created to test irrigation of various salt tolerant plants is now a beautiful patch of greenery planted with five native reed species, enhancing resilience and biodiversity.
The combined system of the wetlands and ponds created a new valuable habitat in the desert, attracting thousands of migratory birds. This one project has also resulted in cost-savings in treated water disposal, apart from ensuring greenhouse gas emissions reduction and has also contributed to Oman’s contribution to reduce greenhouse gas emission by two per cent.
Oman has also created another wetland very much within the city – known as the Al Ansaab wetland. Another wonderful ecosystem, this one is a major hub for migratory birds, nature enthusiasts and informed tourists.
Al Ansab Wetlands, home for Black-winged Stilt and a preferred stop over for more than 300 species of migratory birds, has five lagoons and many trees that are native to various regions of Oman.
Together the beautiful reserve offer a perfect paradise not just for the birds, butterflies and other animals that reside here but also for the human visitors. Trees planted around the area by the Haya Water team (the wastewater management company in Oman), which are supported by the wetland’s ecosystem make this perfect green patch a must-visit for everyone.