EghtesadOnline: Iran and Japan on Saturday signed a basic agreement to cut water loss in central Iran with an eye on reducing the wastage of dwindling water resources across the national supply system.
Signed by the National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company, Tehran Province Water and Wastewater Company and Japan International Cooperation Agency in Tehran in the weekend, the agreement is aimed at reducing the drainage of "non-revenue water"—water that is pumped and then lost or unaccounted for before reaching consumers, IRNA reported.
As per the agreement, the joint program will be piloted in the city of Khansar in the central Isfahan Province where water wastage is three times the average in major Iranian cities.
The average amount of non-revenue water in Iran's big cities is around 20% but stands at around 60% in Khansar, the report said, adding that the agreement comes on the back of three years of studies on water loss in Khansar by the Japanese agency.
In developing countries, according to Financial Tribune, roughly 45 million cubic meters of water are lost daily with an economic value of over $3 billion per year.
A World Bank study puts the global estimate of physical water losses at 32 billion cubic meters each year, half of which occurs in developing countries. Water utilities suffer from the huge financial costs of treating and pumping water only to see it leak back into the ground and the lost revenues from water that could have otherwise been sold.
If the water losses in developing countries could be halved, the saved water would be enough to supply around 90 million people.
According to data by the Geological Survey & Mineral Explorations of Iran, some 37 million Iranians are living in water-stressed regions. It comes as per capita water use in metropolises such as Tehran and Isfahan exceeds 200 liters, whereas the global average is around 150 liters.
Located in one of the world's most water-stressed regions, Iran suffers from low rainfall and excessive consumption as well as high levels of water loss because of aging supply infrastructure and outdated irrigation methods.
Established in 1974, JICA is the primary Japanese governmental agency responsible for technical cooperation component of Japan's bilateral ODA (Japan's Official Development Assistance) program.
JICA is involved in broad-ranging projects in Iran's water and power industries. It is providing assistance to Iran with a focus on development of domestic industries, reduction of disparities between urban and rural areas, environmental preservation, water resource management and disaster management.
Shahin Pakrouh, a deputy at NWWEC, noted that the Japanese organization has engaged in training Iranian workforce on various water-related issues.
"Curtailing Khansar's non-revenue water is a national project. Plans are in place to indigenize the technology to help curb water in Isfahan and elsewhere," he said.