$270m Required for Water, Wastewater Networks

$270m Required for Water, Wastewater Networks$270m Required for Water, Wastewater Networks

Modification and reconstruction of water and wastewater networks need $270 million annually, a senior official at the National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company (Abfa) said.

"European countries have welcomed undertaking Iran's water and wastewater projects, and currently we are in talks with them," Hamid-Reza Tashayyoei was quoted as saying by IRNA. Referring to Abfa's main plans, he said European and Japanese companies have been invited to cooperate with Iran in the networks' modification and reconstruction as well as water efficiency fields.

"A French company is now involved in the capital's water efficiency projects," he said.

Tashayyoei also said if half of the $27 million budget of Abfa is provided by the private sector, it can be considered "a big success".

"Abfa's wastage rate is 26%, of which 14% involve physical wastage," he added.

The official noted that one of the main approaches of the company is to expand renewable energy usage. In line with the approach, wind energy has been employed, since five years ago, to supply rural power demands.

Since March 2015, which marks the start of the Iranian year, some $1 million (14%) of the company's allocated budget for this year have been paid by the government, according to Tashayyoei. He noted that 457 cities experienced water shortage last year but it is too early to talk about this year's situation.

Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian had earlier said the ministry calls for a significant growth in the next year's energy budget.

"In view of the country's present conditions and the constraints caused by oil price plunge, the ministry's allocated budget for next year will equal this year's budget ($189 million)," Chitchian added.

In addition to the government's allocated budget, the Energy Ministry uses revenues raised by the sale of water, electricity and wastewater services as well as private investments to finance its development projects.


  Telemetry Systems

According to Tashayyoei, water resources in the country are managed with smart technologies such as the telemetry system; 177 cities have been equipped with the system and feasibility studies are being undertaken in 445 other cities.

"Telemetry systems for water monitoring offer cost savings, flexibility and easy access to remote monitoring locations," he said, noting that curbing water wastage is one of the most challenging issue with which Abfa is struggling.

Underscoring the fact that using telemetry systems top Abfa's priority list, he said, "Telemetry is important in water management, including water quality and stream gauging functions. Major applications include automatic meter reading, groundwater monitoring, leak detection in distribution pipelines and equipment surveillance. Having data available in almost real time allows quick reactions to events in the field."

Tashayyoei believes that potable water quality standards in urban districts are checked regularly.

Nonetheless, plans should be made to manage supply and demand balance concerning limited water resources.

"Water distribution network's length in the country has witnessed a 2.5% rise in 18 years, reaching 144,000 kilometers in 2015 from 66,000 km in 1997," he said, noting that the number of water subscribers in Iran exceeds 14 million, yet the quality of potable water is improving in urban areas.