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Water 2014, 6(10), 3118-3135; doi:10.3390/w6103118

Vulnerability Assessment of Environmental and Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources in Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Sultanate of Oman

1
Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands, Crieff Road, Perth PH1 2NX, UK
2
Department of Natural Resources and Environment, College of Graduate Studies, Arabian Gulf University, Manama 26671, Bahrain
3
Department of Soils, Water & Agricultural Engineering, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 34, Al-Khod 123, Oman
4
Scottish Association for Marine Sciences, University of the Highlands and Islands, Scottish Marine Institute, Dunstaffnage, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 June 2014 / Revised: 25 September 2014 / Accepted: 30 September 2014 / Published: 17 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources in a Variable and Changing Climate)
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Abstract

Climate change and its consequences present one of the most important threats to water resources systems which are vulnerable to such changes due to their limited adaptive capacity. Water resources in arid mountain regions, such as Al Jabal Al Akhdar; northern Sultanate of Oman, are vulnerable to the potential adverse impacts of environmental and climate change. Besides climatic change, current demographic trends, economic development and related land use changes are exerting pressures and have direct impacts on increasing demands for water resources and their vulnerability. In this study, vulnerability assessment was carried out using guidelines prepared by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Peking University to evaluate four components of the water resource system: water resources stress, water development pressure, ecological health, and management capacity. The calculated vulnerability index (VI) was high, indicating that the water resources are experiencing levels of stress. Ecosystem deterioration was the dominant parameter and management capacity was the dominant category driving the vulnerability on water resources. The vulnerability assessment will support policy and decision makers in evaluating options to modify existing policies. It will also help in developing long-term strategic plans for climate change mitigation and adaptation measures and implement effective policies for sustainable water resources management, and therefore the sustenance of human wellbeing in the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: vulnerability index; water resources stress; development pressure; ecological health; management capacity; climate change; adaptation; mitigation; Al Jabal Al Akhdar; Oman vulnerability index; water resources stress; development pressure; ecological health; management capacity; climate change; adaptation; mitigation; Al Jabal Al Akhdar; Oman
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Al-Kalbani, M.S.; Price, M.F.; Abahussain, A.; Ahmed, M.; O'Higgins, T. Vulnerability Assessment of Environmental and Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources in Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Sultanate of Oman. Water 2014, 6, 3118-3135.

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