Maintaining an adequate supply of water for agricultural and domestic use is Oman's most pressing environmental problem. The nation has only 1 cubic kilometer of renewable water resources, with 94% used in farming and 2% for industrial activity. Only 30% of all rural dwellers have pure drinking water. Both drought and limited rainfall contribute to shortages in the nation's water supply. The nation's soil has shown increased levels of salinity. Pollution of beaches and other coastal areas by oil tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman is also a persistent problem.
In 2001, the nation had nine endangered species of mammals and five endangered types of bird. Nineteen plant species are also threatened with extinction. Decrees have been passed to protect endangered species, which include the South Arabian leopard, Arabian oryx, mountain gazelle, goitered gazelle, Arabian tahr, green sea turtle, hawksbill turtle, and olive turtle.