Barka

Barka is located in Batinah Region at the north part of the Sultanate of Oman.

Well sampling in Barka area.

The main exploited aquifer is located in the alluvial deposits of the coastal part of Wadi Al-Maawel basin. The bedrock consists of marl, limestone and dolomite while alluvial deposits are formed by the weathered products of limestone and ophiolite. The variation of well yields depends on the nature of the alluvial deposits, their saturated thickness and degree of sorting and cementation. In upper catchments areas, alluvial deposits have a thickness of about 10 to 15 m with a saturated thickness of only few meters. Significant groundwater resources are found also in the much thicker (>300 m) alluvial deposits found in the alluvial plain zone. According to the census the study area has a population of more than 75,000. Urban development and agricultural activities are the main land uses in coastal region compared to southern and central parts of the study area. Agricultural activities are dominant and consume large amounts of groundwater compared to domestic and industrial activities.

The irrigation water demands are covered by the large number of boreholes and dug wells. Agricultural production in Barka contributes significant proportion to the economy of Batinah region and the common crops such as grasses, alfalfa, vegetables, and trees like date, mango, lime, and banana are cultivated. Therefore, the main pressures posed on the aquifer are seawater intrusion and nitrification due to anthropogenic activities.