EghtesadOnline: Swept by an excess of dam constructions in the past decades, Iran should maintain a policy of building no new embankments until its current dam projects are completed, said the chief executive officer of Iran’s Water Resources Management Company, a subsidiary of the Energy Ministry.
"There are no plans to build new dams and those which will help supply people with potable water have been be given priority," Mohammad Haj-Rasouliha was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Tuesday.
He said 108 dams are under construction, of which 29 will help provide drinking water, adding that dams with 25% progress will have a higher priority for completion.
Haj-Rasouliha said the budgets of these ventures are not sufficient and contractors are under financial pressure.
According to the official, 10 dams were expected to go on stream by the end of the current Iranian year on March 20, yet just six of them, located in western provinces, are ready to become operational in the said period, Financial Tribune reported.
"The country's current dam reservoirs' capacity stands at 52 billion cubic meters," Haj-Rasouliha said, adding that upon the completion of 108 dams under construction, the capacity will reach 70 bcm.
"Except for the Caspian Sea region where 10 to 15 dams can be constructed during the seventh five-year development plan (2022-27), the country does not require any other dams," he added.
The construction of dam is widely viewed as an engineering process, whereas it is necessary to consider environmental factors when building dams, the official said.
He added that people in dry areas are flocking to other places due to water shortage and lack of infrastructures for water supply.
"Water level in border regions is alarming," he said.
Highlighting the fourfold increase in world population and rising temperatures, he said, "We will not start any project unless we obtain the environmental permits. The social impact of dam building in every region should be taken into account and residents may not realize the importance of dam construction in their area."
Experts say reckless dam construction poses a threat to the environment, desiccating some of the country's water-rich areas.
Iran's dam building capacity has significantly improved in the past three decades, with some 200 contracting companies, 70 consultant firms and 30 corporations as well as hundreds of hydroelectric manufacturing units having been established inside the country.
Over the past three decades, it has built 600 dams, an average of 20 a year, to irrigate farms and provide electricity.