Private Firms to Help Water Sector

Private  Firms  to Help  Water Sector Private  Firms  to Help  Water Sector

Having already invested $941 million in water and wastewater projects, the private sector has now undertaken to invest an additional $323.5 million in new projects, the managing director of the National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company (NWWEC) said Sunday.

Deals are to be signed with private firms to carry out $323 million worth of projects, due to the NWWEC’s insufficient resources, Moj news agency reported.

“The water and wastewater industry is short of working capital,” Hamidreza Janbaz said, pointing to the wherewithal required to repair, maintain, and develop water and wastewater infrastructure.

Globally, three to five percent of investments in water and wastewater industry are portioned out to overhaul dilapidated water networks; otherwise, the sum is included in water bills to meet this end. However, no such measure has been taken in Iran, and the unsound infrastructure awaits funding, which is alternatively obtained from private investors.

Overworked water utilities, some of which date back to over five decades, also pose a threat to the water supply in cities. “Revenues earned from water bills is much lower than the cost of providing water and as long as this substantial gap remains, reconstruction projects and optimization of water networks cannot be funded,” energy minister, Hamid Chitchian said earlier.

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) recently allocated $248.5 million for the development of Iran’s rural wastewater networks.