People, Environment

Water Supply Tunnel to Help Ease Kerman Crisis

Water Supply Tunnel to Help Ease Kerman Crisis
Water Supply Tunnel to Help Ease Kerman Crisis

Work began Tuesday in Kerman Province on a water supply tunnel project supposed to be longest of its kind in the Middle East.

Approximately 38 kilometers long and 3.9 meters wide, the tunnel will transfer 21,000 liters of water per second to the province’s drought-hit northern regions, YJC reported.

The tunnel will transfer water from Safaroud Dam in Rabor County in the southeast.

Officials say the tunnel will help alleviate the shortage of drinking water in the province’s drought-stricken north.

The project is estimated to cost 6.1 trillion rials ($170 million) —a third of the budget allocated to the entire scheme that aims to supply the province’s drinking water from Safaroud.

The project is expected to be completed in 2020, because the tunnel will run through rugged mountains.

The province, including the provincial capital Kerman, has been grappling with drought for years. The northern part of the province is situated in an arid desert area, worsening the region’s water shortage.

Currently, the majority of Kerman’s potable water is supplied from groundwater resources. According to provincial authorities, the region’s groundwater balance is negative; meaning the rate of water withdrawal is greater than its recharge.

To remedy the problem, officials devised a plan to transfer water from Sarmeshk and Safaroud dams, both of which are located in Rabor County.