EghtesadOnline: Water issues (including scarcity of drinking water, poor infrastructure, floods and droughts) are crucial in developing nations like Iran.
Japan's Ambassador Mitsugu Saito made the statement Tuesday in Tehran on the sidelines of the first convention on "Drawing on Japan's Experience in Water and Wastewater Engineering", ISNA reported.
The ceremony was attended by officials from Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) as well as managers from the National Water and Wastewater Company, namely Qasem Taqizadeh Khamesi, a deputy manager in the National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company of Iran (Abfa).
Referring to high water consumption in Iran, Saito expressed the hope that consumption patterns can be modified with help from Japanese technology and experience, according to Financial Tribune.
Consumption of 300 liters of water per day per capita has remained unchanged in Japan since the1990s, while the amount in Tehran exceeds 400 liters.
"Japan also faces serious water problems, one of which is management of non-renewable resources for which strategic plans are being implemented," the senior diplomat noted.
The amount of available water resources per capita in Japan is 3,300 cubic meters per annum. The figure is 1,100 in Iran.
Total annual water use in Japan is approximately 85.2 billion cubic meters, 88% of which comes from rivers. The agriculture sector accounts for nearly 65% of annual use followed by households and industries (20 and 15% respectively).
The Energy Ministry in 2017 signed a memorandum of understanding with JCCME on sharing know-how to improve electricity and water infrastructure.
A delegation from the ministry visited Japan that year and met Tadahiko Ito, Japan's minister of environment and Ihara Takumi vice-minister of economy, trade and industry and toured the Kazunogawa Power Plant west of Tokyo. They also toured electricity substations.
Drawing on Experience
According to Taqizadeh, drastic changes are seriously affecting global climate and the best way not to be taken by surprise (due to torrential rains or drought) is to learn from and draw on other (developed) countries' knowledge and experience.
Referring to heavy rains in the past few months, he asserted, "Next year precipitation will not be high and this means whatever water is stored in dams and underground tables should be used with extra care."
The official recalled that 23 million people in 200 rural areas and small towns still face water problems due to poor infrastructure.
"Close to $100 million has been allocated from the National Development Fund of Iran, the country's beleaguered sovereign-wealth fund, to help alleviate the chronic water problems, mainly in the deprived regions."
Located in one of the world’s most water-stressed regions, Iran is among the top 20 countries with unsustainable water consumption.
Experts and environmentalists say if the present trend persists, almost all underground water will dry up within 30 years and the country will face absolute water scarcity.
Desertification, several thousand illegal water wells scattered across the country, inefficient farming practices, water-intensive industries are making a bad situation worse as the water deficit grows in tandem with prohibitive consumption in all sectors, mainly agriculture.