Officials Discuss Water, Energy Plans for Southern Regions

Officials Discuss Water, Energy Plans for Southern RegionsOfficials Discuss Water, Energy Plans for Southern Regions

First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri has called on the energy ministry to hand over as many incomplete projects as possible to the private sector, in a meeting where concurrent production of water and electricity in the southern regions was also discussed.

Energy ministry representative submitted a report on water and electricity projects to the meeting, IRNA reported. Provision of funds, budget allocation and the timetable to apportion the budget for implementation of key energy projects were among the issues the officials addressed.

The technical aspects, objectives, budget and prerequisites of the project to concurrently produce power and water in the southern regions were also discussed in the meeting.

"Water supply in the southern regions is a critical challenge," Energy Minsiter Hamid Chitchian said, noting that the regions' coastal waters can be desalinated to partly resolve the matter. The excess heat from electricity generation in power plants will be utilized to desalinate sea water in five southern coastal provinces.

As a result of years of drought, Iran has been forced to become over-reliant on its underground water tables without allowing them ample time to be naturally replenished. This overuse has drained the reserves and even permanently damaged the levels of underground reservoirs rendering many sources completely dry or unusable.  Iran is currently trying to minimize the damage done by spreading drought while simultaneously investing in hydropower, desalination and major water pipeline projects. Another key energy project discussed at the meeting was construction of 924 water supply units in rural areas, which will cover seven million people in 15,000 villages.  

The meeting was also attended by head of the National Development Fund of Iran (NDFI), the conomic adviser to the President, representatives from the ministry of economy, the Central Bank of Iran, and the Management and Planning Organization of Iran (MPO).