The Public Authority for Electricity & Water (PAEW) has issued a tender for a pre-feasibility study into aquifer storage and recovery (ASR).

The organisation is inviting consultancies to bid to help evaluate the application of large-scale underground storage of water in ASR schemes. ASR enables utilities to store produced water in an aquifer when there is surplus but then recover the water when it is needed.

After desalinated water is stored, it usually requires “only disinfection” before being sent out to the water distribution system, said PAEW. In many cases, the storage zones are aquifers that have experienced long term declines in water levels due to heavy pumping to meet increasing urban and agricultural water needs. Groundwater levels can then be restored if adequate water is recharged.

Elsewhere in the region, German firm Dornier Consulting has been investigating the possibility of ASR in Abu Dhabi.

PAEW said: “ASR could provide a cost-effective solution to Oman’s water management needs, storing water during times of low water demand, and recovering it later during emergencies or times of peak water demand.

Large water volumes are stored deep underground, reducing or eliminating the need to construct large and expensive concrete surface reservoirs.” The organisation said ASR could lead to cost savings, compared to constructing desalination…