EghtesadOnline: The government has allocated $1.2 billion to water management schemes in the five past years, a majority of which have been planned in collaboration with the private sector, data released by the Ministry of Energy showed.
Some 16 projects worth about $60 million have come into force in the last four Iranian water years (ended Sept. 22, 2017) in the fields of potable water production and desalination, the ministry's website reported on Sunday.
Plans are in place to implement ventures to meet people's demand for safe drinking water, especially in the Persian Gulf littoral provinces. The plans mainly focus on provision of desalination equipment and establishment of sewage treatment plants. Other policies rely heavily on the construction of water conservation projects in the form of dams and reservoirs, implementation of water supply projects and establishment of irrigation infrastructure.
Collaboration with the private sector comes in the face of tight state funding and financial pressure to develop Iran's water and power infrastructures, according to Financial Tribune.
The Energy Ministry has said that nearly 3,000 water and wastewater projects nationwide are incomplete due to a lack of funds.
Reports in late 2017 said domestic private sector's negotiations with their foreign counterparts involve investments worth €10 billion ($11.8 billion) in water and electricity projects.
Iran is located in one of the most water-stressed region. Average annual rainfall is around 250 millimeters per year, or almost one-fourth of average global precipitation. That is compounded by excessive consumption of the dwindling resource. Figures released by Iran Water Resources Management show that the country received 46.5 millimeters of rainfall from the beginning of the current water year up to Feb. 2, registering a 46.5% decline in precipitation compared with the same period of last year.
Besides efforts to foster a better consumption pattern, the situation has prompted officials and stakeholders to renovate aging water supply network, a major source of leakage, and build new desalination units.