EghtesadOnline: Iran’s wastewater treatment plants have a processing capacity of approximately 6.4 million liters per day, 24% of which were created in the past four years, the managing director of state-run National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company said.
During his one-day visit to Isfahan Province, Hamidreza Khabbaz also inaugurated several water and wastewater projects in the city of Natanz, worth 66.5 billion rials (around $1.5 million), IRNA reported on Wednesday.
The projects include a wastewater treatment plant, with a capacity to treat 63 cubic meters per day. It meets the demand of a district that is home to 3,500 people.
Khabbaz, who is also a deputy energy minister, said that since 2013, when President Hassan Rouhani took office, Iran has launched 37 major wastewater treatment projects, adding more than 1 million cubic meters to the country’s total effluent treatment capacity, Financial Tribune reported.
Underscoring private investment along with government funds, the official noted that at least 20 water and wastewater development deals, worth 20 trillion rials ($474 million), are due to be signed soon. The official also underlined Iran's chronic water crisis, stressing that over 300 cities were beset by water shortage during the summer.
"This is while Iran’s potable water demand rises between 2% and 3% every year," he added.
Iran is situated in an arid and semi-arid region and average precipitation rate has fallen to levels way below the global average while underground water resources are fast drying up.
Hamid Chitchian, the former energy minister, said in late July that Tehran Province’s wastewater treatment capacity has increased to nearly 1 mcm/d from 500,000 cm/d four years ago.
Underlining the importance of processing wastewater in the development of industrial and agriculture sectors, Chitchian added that each cubic meter of polluted water contaminates 40 cubic meters of clean water, which explains why collecting wastewater is key to preserving the environment.
According to statistics, Iran’s water recycling in agriculture is below 50%. Almost 90% of the scarce water resources are consumed by the agriculture sector.