EghtesadOnline: Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said Wednesday 2,000 villages on the outskirts of urban and rural areas will be provided with potable water by the end of the current fiscal (started March 21).
"Thirty wastewater and desalination complexes are expected to be up and running this year," the Energy Ministry news website Paven quoted him as saying.
The Energy Ministry invested $1 billion in water and power sectors in 2018, he said.
Giving a breakdown on the projects, the minister noted, "Over 1,500 villages were supplied safe and potable water."
Iran’s total urban population has access to piped water as do 75% of rural residents -- the latter figure is planned to reach 81% by 2021, according to Financial Tribune.
He referred to the expansion of wastewater collection networks in recent years and said, “Almost half the 80 million populations is connected to the sewerage system”.
Nine wastewater and desalination plants with the capacity to provide drinking water to 900,000 people went on stream last year, mainly in the southern Bushehr and northern Golestan provinces. Moreover, 56,000 irrigation and drainage networks were replenished to help farmers reduce water loss and control the flow of water.
Official data show average global water use efficiency in the sector is about 75%. Nonetheless, due to unsustainable farming methods in Iran, the figure is a low as 35%.
The minister went on to say that dams helped collect as much as 1.1 billion cubic meters of water in 2018.
Regarding power sector development, he said 400 megawatts was added to the national grid’s installed capacity raising total national capacity to 82 gigawatts.
"Supplying electricity to remote rural areas is one of the priorities," he added, noting that 30% of the population lives in rural areas and the ministry is striving to supply power “to all rural areas including those with 10 households.”
Energy Ministry data show less than 2% of rural areas are not linked to the national electricity network.
Pointing to work in progress, the minister said installed power generation capacity will be 85,000 megawatts by 2020 and almost 1,100 MW of new capacity is expected to be added to the national grid by May as soon as the Maku Power Plant in the eponymous trade zone in West Azarbaijan Province as well as the Qeshm 2 and Bandar Abbas power plants in Hormozgan Province and Lamerd in Fars Province come on stream.
Moreover, construction work on 31 power plants with total capacity of 19,000 megawatts in 27 provinces is underway.
The projects, mostly financed by private companies, would be conducted at a total cost of $8 billion and 12,000 MW will be added to the grid in the next two years and cost $5 billion.