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.
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