Tajikistan hopeful about water-electricity cooperation with Iran

Tehran, Iran, June 3

By Temkin Jafarov, Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

A consultant to the Tajikistan ambassador to Tehran says his country has great capacities regarding water resources in which Iran could invest.

Sangmohamad Zaurov, deputy head of the Tajikistan mission to Tehran, told Trend June 3 that 64 percent of Central Asia's water goes through the country.

"If the entire capacities are used for constructive hydroelectric power plants, Tajikistan will turn into a leading country not only in Central Asia, but among all regional countries," he said.

He noted Tajikistan currently produces 17 billion KW/h of electricity.

While in the summer the country sells electricity to Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, in the winter there are problems since there aren't enough dams to use the waters, he noted.

According to Zurov, due to lack of infrastructures, every year 4 billion KW/h of electricity goes to waste in the summer in Tajikistan.

"Right now there is a very big project with four countries. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan will construct the power line. Lots of talks have been held on the project. The power line is 1,000 kilometers long and will be fed by the hydroelectric power plant of Raghoon which is going to be built in the future," he said.

Water transfer from Tajikistan to Iran is one of the mutual projects under discussion that expert teams are investigating,

"There was this initial plan to carry water by pipe from Mount Salis - which holds over 27 billion cubic meters of water - to Afghanistan and from there to Iran. But the investigations did not succeed," Zaurov said.

The official noted that the main problem against the plan was insecure situations in Afghanistan.

Some 700 kilometers of the pipe must have been laid inside the Afghan territory, heading to Iran's Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan. In return, Iran would have exported oil to Tajikistan.

Now, Zaurov says, other ways are being explored to carry the project out. He further noted that there are problems with transferring oil to Tajikistan, too.

"You know, we have some problems. There are different issues, some of which have to do with us, and some other do not. About 90 percent of the issues are solved, and we are trying to settle the rest. Everything's possible, it only needs will," he said.

The drinking water problem in different cities of Iran has reached the crisis level. The Iranian government is seeking new resources and intends to implement a number of projects for irrigation and for the population's water consumption, and thereby solve the water shortage problem.

The projects on transporting water from the Caspian Sea and the Gulf of Oman to the country's central part can be seen as an example of this.

Earlier, one of the officials of the Iranian Khorasan Province, Mohammad Reza Mohsen proposed to construct a water pipeline from the Lake Sarez in Tajikistan to the Khorasan Province. The water pipeline from the Lake Sarez, which was formed as a result of an earthquake in eastern Tajikistan in 1911, will be 600 kilometers in length.

Edited by CN

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