Salalah: Springs are adding splendour to the wealth of natural attractions in Salalah as tourists flock in greater numbers to savour the majestic beauty of the place.
The Governorate of Dhofar, known for its springs in the mountains and valleys extending from the Wilayat of Sadah in the east to the Wilayat of Dhalkut in the west, now has 360 flowing and seasonal springs. During the Khareef season (monsoons), the springs receive a large number of visitors who come to enjoy the natural sights around these springs, such as Jarziz, Sahalnout, Razat, Hamran, Tubraq, Athoum and Darbat.
The Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources is developing the spring sites by improving and maintaining utilities and investing in such sites to enhance tourism. Khareef season, which lasts from June to September, is when these springs are fed by the rains lashing the mountains in Dhofar. Spring water is potable and is used for irrigation and also by animals who graze along the lands amid mountains.
The areas surrounding the springs are where a large number of livestock find sustenance. In the past, such areas were known for growing grains, legumes, coconuts, potatoes and fodder, particularly in Hamran and Darbat.
Dr Khalid bin Salim Al Meshaikhi, Head of Dams and Springs at the Directorate of Water Resources in the Governorate of Dhofar says the directorate observed and assessed the spring sites in terms of water abundance, population density and livestock presence.
The Razat spring is considered the most abundant in the governorate. Its water flows through a 10 km-long concrete channel from Al Ma'amourah to Razat Farm. The annual rate for water flow in major springs here is estimated at 10.46 million cubic metre per annum.
The highest rate of water flow was recorded in Jarziz in 2002 at 650 litre per second whereas the lowest rate was in Hamran where it was one litre per second in 1992. A study conducted by Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources has analysed resources created by rains during the Khareef season and feeding of the natural ground water reservoirs in the mountains.