Water Management Talks With South Korea

Water Management Talks With South KoreaWater Management Talks With South Korea

Energy Ministry is in advanced talks with a major South Korean company to introduce new water management projects in Iran, director general of water and wastewater projects at the ministry said.

Taqi Ebadi added that a high-ranking delegation from South Korea's K-Water is in Tehran to explore Iran's business environment and discuss grounds for cooperation, ISNA reported on Wednesday.

K-Water is Korea's government arm for developing and conducting water projects, including the provision of public and industrial water. It is also the country's leading renewable energies company, providing around one-fourth of the country's power production capacity from renewables.

According to Ebadi, K-Water's extent of operations encompasses a wide range of projects that local water and wastewater companies and Energy Ministry carry out in Iran.

He added that the state-owned Korean agency has vast experience in upgrading regular water supply networks to smart networks by introducing advanced technologies such telemetry equipment used for remote control and monitoring of water distribution and treatment.

The official underlined the transfer of technology as a prerequisite for doing business with internationals including the Korean major.

"They [K-Water] will invest a great amount of money in different forms … the types of investment will be worked out in the next few days," he said.

Profligate use of water and a near-incessant drought in the past two decades have prompted the government to fast-track the implementation of water-conservation programs.

Iran's groundwater resources are overexploited in farming due to the lack of modern irrigation technology and equipment.

According to officials, Iran has used more than 75% of its water resources.

While average rainfall is around 750 millimeters in the world, Iran’s average precipitation has fallen to around 200 mm in the past 15 years, down from 250 mm before a long and hard drought cast a shadow over the country.

According to official data, 10 provinces suffer from severe water shortage, while 23 provinces have experienced significant reduction in rainfall compared to previous years.

Water supply to one of the country's most water-stressed cities Shiraz in Fars Province is a high-priority project in cooperation with K-Water.

Declining precipitation, combined with years of mismanagement and prolonged drought, has forced residents of Shiraz's suburbs to tap into rivers to meet their water needs.

Ebadi said the water delivery project is set to improve the city's water network and enhance water conservation to ensure sustainable supply of drinking water to the citizens of Shiraz.

According to energy officials, modification and reconstruction of water and wastewater networks nationwide require $270 million annually, while nearly $100 million a year are spent to maintain and upgrade Tehran's water facilities.

K-Water's delegation is the latest international mission seeking water cooperation in post-sanctions Iran.

German and Japanese delegations were among those rushing to the capital Tehran to secure a place in Iran's water and wastewater projects after the Persian Gulf country reached a landmark nuclear agreement with six world powers in July.

In addition, the Chinese have provided Tehran Water and Wastewater Company with $223 million in investment to build two water treatment facilities in southern Tehran.