The Ministry of Water Resources has prequalified 17 international and local consortia to bid for the construction of the Al Massarat and Ash'Sharqiyah Sands water supply scheme.

The ministry has set January 15, 2000 as the deadline for submission of final construction bids for the Al Massarat water supply scheme in the Dhahirah region. Work on the project - billed as one of the largest drinking water supply schemes in the Gulf region - is scheduled to commence early this year.

Engineering designs for the project were completed in November. The first phase will involve installation of a total of 215 km of pipelines, and construction of four main pumping stations, 11 ground reservoirs and 13 elevated water towers and 17 tanker points.

Design work is under way on the Ash'Sharqiyah Sands water supply scheme in the Sharqiyah region. Tenders for the project are expected to be issued soon.