700 Water, Power Projects to Go on Stream by March

700 Water, Power Projects to Go on Stream by March700 Water, Power Projects to Go on Stream by March

More than 700 water and electricity projects worth $2.88 billion are slated to go on stream in the current Iranian year (started March 20), Iran’s acting energy minister said on late Tuesday.

Ruling out rumors on stagnation in water and power projects, Sattar Mahmoudi added that these plans need to be financed by different sources, IRNA reported.

Mahmoudi made the statement on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of an exhibition on water crisis in Tehran.

“The Energy Ministry’s main concern is the long list of projects, which has caused some projects to be developed slowly and some at a medium pace,” he said.

He stressed that currently the number of planned projects does not match the amount of funds injected for implementing them, while installations also gradually become decrepit.

Pointing to the 700 projects lined up in the water and electricity sectors, the official said that in addition to state funds, the private sector also needs to participate in funding the projects.

Asked whether water and power prices will be raised by the government, Mahmoudi noted that any change in prices is discussed at the time of setting the annual budget, but it has remained unsolved and there is currently no plan to increase prices.

  Plans to Mitigate Water Crisis

Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian, who also attended the event, said although lack of financial resources have adversely affected the implementation of projects, the ministry will make efforts to avoid delays by enhancing consumption management and increasing production capacity.  

Referring to the plan of reviving and balancing ground waters as part of efforts to support farmers, Chitchian warned against wasteful consumption of the precious liquid that can cause problems for the farmers.

Wasteful farming practices of olden times gobble 90% of Iran’s water, with a mere 35% efficiency. This pales in comparison to 70% of water efficiency in the developed world.

“Wasteful consumption of water can result in salinity of water resources and soil, and reduced yield,” he said.

Chitchian said Iran’s western half, including the provinces of Ilam, Lorestan, Kurdestan, West and East Azarbaijan, Hamedan and Khuzestan, experienced “adequate” rainfalls in the current water year, while the country’s eastern provinces are grappling with water shortage.

According to Mehr News Agency, Iran is planning to launch a joint venture with Russia to implement feasibility studies aimed at exploring deep-water reservoirs in certain regions, especially in the east.  

The ministry estimates that Iran has 1.5 to 2 billion cubic meters of undiscovered groundwater.

Underlining the need to judiciously use water, Chitchian pointed to Tehran as one of the zones that had a suitable amount of rainfall in the past nine months, adding that the five dams, which supply the capital’s water, are in good conditions and the province’s reserves are one-third more than that of last year.

Located in one of the most arid regions of the planet, Iran’s annual rainfall is a third of the global average.

The government is taking steps to address the widening water crisis, including exploration for new underground water resources and measures to curb wasteful consumption.

According to the ministry's data, average Iranian use is 250 liters of water per day, while daily consumption in metropolises such as Tehran may exceed 400 liters. That means Iran’s water usage is twice the world's standards.