3,000 Water Projects Awaiting Funds

3,000 Water Projects Awaiting Funds3,000 Water Projects Awaiting Funds

Nearly 3,000 water and wastewater projects nationwide are incomplete due to a lack of funds, deputy for planning and development at the National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company.

“The development of 250 wastewater projects in urban areas requires more than $6.3 billion, but the allocated fund to do so in this year’s (national) budget is only $3.6 billion,” Ali Asghar Qane’ was quoted as saying by ISNA on Wednesday.

A total of 121 water supply projects across the country require a minimum of $3.5 billion, which call for a greater private sector participation in national projects.

“Without private sector investment, we will face difficulties in completing a large number of unfinished projects,” he said.

The official noted that private investors have already undertaken 98 water projects at an estimated cost of $1.3 billion.

Among these projects, a majority of which include water treatment plants, 59 are being carried out under the build-operate-own contract and will cost $234 million.

The government has said it will buy clean water from these plants at a guaranteed price of nearly $1 (34,000 rials) per cubic meter, while consumers pay roughly one-1oth for the same volume.

According to Qane’, the government also plans to attract private sector investment to develop wastewater facilities under buyback contracts, based on which investors would generate revenues off wastewater treatment for 30 years.