GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
Al Kalbani
First Name:
Title of Paper:
Integrated Environmental Assessment using DPSIR for Sustainability Management of Water Resources in Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Sultanate of Oman
Paper Proposal Text :
Integrated Environmental Assessment using DPSIR for Sustainability Management of Water Resources in Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Sultanate of Oman

Mohammed Saif Al Kalbani, PhD Student, Environmental Sustainability Programme, The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and The University of Aberdeen, UK, E-mails:,


Assessment of environmental degradation and natural resource depletion has become essential for the long-term management of natural resources and the sustenance of livelihoods that are dependent on them. A key step in the assessment of human-driven environmental problems is to research the spatial and social determinants of such problems using appropriate environmental assessment tools. Of the many conceptual models for indicator selection of environmental assessment, the Driving Forces-Pressure-State-Impact-Responses (DPSIR) model is one of the most applied. Despite the potential capabilities and the wide application of the DPSIR framework to assess environmental problems and its potential to contribute to formulating environmental policies, its adoption is still at an early stage in many developing countries, including the Sultanate of Oman. This is especially true in arid mountain regions, where there are pronounced human-driven, input-related and accelerated environmental degradation problems, particularly deterioration in the quantity and quality of water resources that need to be assessed to support effective environmental decision-making.

In this research, the DPSIR framework was applied as an integrated environmental assessment tool to illustrate the cause-and-effect relationships for sustainability management of water resources in Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman. The research aimed to examine the potential of the DPSIR framework in this arid mountain ecosystem, with a particular focus on water resources quantity and quality and to explore optimal approaches for their sustainable use and management for human wellbeing. This was accomplished by a comprehensive integrated assessment of the relevant Driving forces (D), Pressures (P), State (S), Impacts (I), and Responses (R) relating to water resources quantity and quality by integrating knowledge, information and indicators of environmental changes from various physical, chemical, biological, and social aspects of water issues.

The assessment included the analysis of different quality parameters of water resources including drinking and domestic and agricultural water supplies, and assessing the status of the changes in water resources quantity. To assess the other elements of DPSIR framework, questionnaire surveys of different stakeholder groups (households, farmers and government officials and experts) to seek their views and opinions on DPSIR questions related to water resources quantity and quality were undertaken. Secondary data sources were used to triangulate results, observations and information obtained from both the assessment of water quantity and quality and the analysis of questionnaire survey. The research process was completed with policy analysis on water resources management and legislation and the preparation of scenarios for sustainable water resources management practices and effective environmental decision-making mechanisms.

Keywords: Sustainability, DPSIR Framework, Integrated Environmental Assessment, Groundwater, Aflaj, Dams, Climate Change, Stakeholders, Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman