Iran needs over $600M to implement water supply projects in rural areas
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.16
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iran needs over $600 million to implement water supply projects in rural areas.
Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Rahim Meidani said the next year's budget bill has envisioned the allocation of $125 million to rural water supply projects, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on November 16.
Some $300 million have been invested by the private sector in eight water supply projects in the current year, he noted.
Based on the sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2015-2020) the use of underground water resources should be reduced by 11 billion cubic meters, he said.
Iran is located in an arid zone and the country faces a serious water shortage crisis.
The drought of 1992-2002 caused a major blow to agriculture. There were quotas imposed for fresh water in several cities, including the capital Tehran.
Hamidreza Janbaz, an Advisor to Iranian energy minister, said that currently 517 cities are struggling with water shortage across the country.
"At present, a special program is being worked out to solve the water shortage problem in the next three years," he added. "A drought has been observed in the country for nearly 13 years."
Earlier Iranian media outlets quoted energy minister, Hamid Reza Chitchian as saying that the situation of water resources in Iran has passed beyond the critical condition.
Iran's total annual water consumption is approximately 93 billion cubic meters, out of which about 92 percent is used in agriculture (86 billion cubic meters), 6.6 percent in municipality (6.18 billion cubic meters), and 1.2 percent in industry (1.12 billion cubic meters), according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO).