Iran allocates $10B to water projects

Business Materials 17 September 2014 16:01 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, Sept. 17

By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

Iran's first Vice-president Is'haq Jahangiri said that some $10 billion from Iran's National Development Fund (NDF) have been allocated to water projects.

"It is a golden opportunity for the energy ministry," he said, adding that the ministry should take advantage of the opportunity to carry out the much needed projects, Iran's Fars News Agency reported on September 17.

He further advised Iranians to cut their water consumption in order to avoid severe shortage.

The NDF is Iran's sovereign wealth fund. It was founded in 2011 to replace Oil Stabilization Fund. Based on Article 84 of the Fifth Five-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (2011-2015), the National Development Fund was established to transform oil and gas revenues to productive investment for future generation.

Some 23 percent of the revenues from the mentioned sources went into the NDF in 2013. This share will reach 32 percent by the end of 2016.

Energy ministry officials say that by cutting consumption by 20-30 percent, the country will face no difficulty in distributing enough water across the country.

Hamidreza Janbaz, an Advisor to Iranian energy minister, said that currently 517 cities are struggling with water shortage across the country, yet adding that the energy ministry has no difficulty in providing enough water for the country.

"We plan to send water to 6,000 villages with tankers," he said.

On February 19, Donya-ye Eqtesad daily quoted Chitchian as saying that the situation of water resources in Iran has passed beyond the critical condition.

"At present, 96 billion cubic meters of the country's total 120 billion cubic meters of renewable water resources is being consumed annually," he said, adding that if 40-60 percent of renewable water resources is consumed in any country, that country is said to be in a critical condition.

During the past decade, precipitations have declined to 242 millimetres from 250 millimetres, he noted.

Iran is located in an arid zone and the country has been repeatedly faced with drought in the past 40 years.

The drought of 1992-2002 caused a major blow to agriculture. There were quotas imposed for fresh water in several cities including Tehran

Iran's drinking water consumption rate is expected to reach 10 billion cubic meters in the Iranian calendar year of 1420 (to start on March 21, 2041).

The country's population is expected to reach 103 million people in the mentioned year, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported on June 30.

Iran will face difficulty in providing the mentioned amount of drinking water, unless it improves its infrastructure.

Iran's water consumption rate currently stands at 6 billion cubic meters.