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Water management in mosques of Oman


Oman is one of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, most of the population being Muslim. It faces the severest water shortage in the world. Male Muslims are obliged to pray in mosques five times a day. Wudu (Ablution -a prescribed manner of body cleansing by water) is essential before each prayer. So, Ablution in mosques consumes the largest amount of water. Saving and reuse/recycling of ablution water will improve water management for the country and hence the region. Water conservation in mosques will also educate the population to conserve water. The main aim of this research was to explore options for improving water demand management in mosques. No empirical research has so far been reported in water management in mosques in the GCC region. The research quantified the amount of ablution water and evaluated water conservation appliances. It also explored social cultural and religious attitudes to reuse /recycle ablution water. The study used both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Forty-one key informant interviews, 120 observations and, 120 measurements using a water-smart flow meter were carried out in the research. The research found that 7 L of water per Wudu is being consumed while it could be done with 0.6 L of water. The study found that suitable policies for water use in mosques, installation of water conservation appliances, appropriate operating water pressure and a positive attitude towards reuse/recycling of ablution water will contribute to improving water management policies and practices for mosques.

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This paper is based on part of my Ph.D. dissertation (Titled: Water Demand Management in Mosques in Oman) at Loughborough University 2019. Link: I wish to thank Dr. Parameswari Kaliyaperumal Lecturer in Engineering Department/Civil & Arch in the University of Technology and Applied Science in Oman (Muscat) for her assistance with helpful comments and discussions.


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All authors contributed to the study’s conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by AA-A, MS, SK and AA-A. The first draft of the manuscript was written by AA-A].

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Correspondence to Aliya Al-Alawi.

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Al-Alawi, A., Sohail, M., Kayaga, S. et al. Water management in mosques of Oman. Sustain. Water Resour. Manag. 7, 95 (2021).

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  • Ablution
  • Water
  • Mosques
  • Management
  • Conservation