EghtesadOnline: Operations to transfer wastewater from Zarrin-Shahr in Isfahan Province to Esfahan Steel Company has started, managing director of the third-largest steelmaker metal said.
"A 5 kilometer pipeline is being laid to channel wastewater from lagoons in the vicinity of Zarrin-Shahr to wastewater treatment plants in the company," Mansour Yazdizadeh was quoted as saying by the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad on Sunday.
A part of the factory's need was met through water from Zayandehroud Dam, but due to the water crisis in the region the steel company has been ordered to stop using fresh water until 2021.
"The project will cost $500,000 and help the plant replace dam water with wastewater," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Referring to other similar plans, Yazdizadeh said laying an 18-km pipeline to supply wastewater from Najafabad to the steel company is on the agenda and will cost $4 million.
There is no denying that steelmakers are wiping out the limited water resources in the arid and desert regions like Isfahan.
According to water experts including Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, the need to recycle and reuse wastewater is crucial to cope with the water crisis across the country.
"One effective approach is to stop tapping into the dwindling underground water tables and build as many wastewater treatment plants as possible to recycle not only industrial but also household wastewater," the minister said.
Although water resources are finite and demand is growing, wastewater is a precious infinite resource, Ardakanian noted.
UNESCO 2017 World Water Development Report says once treated, wastewater could be invaluable in meeting growing demand for freshwater and raw materials namely phosphorus.
Conservationists and environmentalists stress that in industry large quantities of water can be reused, for example, for heating and cooling, instead of being discharged into the environment.
As well as providing a safe alternative source for freshwater, wastewater is also seen as a potential source of raw material.
Iran has 184 wastewater treatment plants with an annual output of 1.2 billion cubic meters.
According to Ardakanian, over 34 million people in 300 cities are facing water shortage, 17 million of whom are in areas with alarming water situations.