EghtesadOnline: The project to supply water to Kerman City, in southern Kerman Province, will be completed in two months, the managing director of the National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company said.
“Contractors are laying pipes in different regions so that water is transferred from existing wells as an emergency measure to help alleviate shortages in the provincial capital, the Energy Ministry news portal Paven quoted Hamidreza Janbaz as saying.
Water demand in Kerman is 3,000 liters per second while maximum water production capacity in the arid city is 1,850 liters per second.
Despite the chronic water deficit, there are no restrictions on water use and no plans to ration it, Financial Tribune quoted Janbaz as saying.
However, water pressure is lowered from 11 pm to 5 am and diverted to huge reservoirs. In the mornings the stored water is discharged.
Drinking water for the city of Kerman is supplied entirely from groundwater sources and the city is waiting for the completion of a project that will transfer drinking water from Safa Rud Dam.
When completed, a 77km pipeline will transfer fresh water from the dam in Rabor County in the southeast of the province to Kerman City.
Eleven kilometers of the pipeline is on hold awaiting allocation for $6.4 million in new funding.
Kerman Province drinking water is provided through 365 wells, three springs, eight aqueducts and two dams, and reaches consumers via a 10,195-km distribution network.
The desert province is grappling with drought for years.
Groundwater Balance Negative
According to provincial authorities, the region’s groundwater balance is negative; meaning the rate of water withdrawal is greater than recharge.
Latest projections show that the province will face a worsening water crisis in three years if timely and effective measures are not taken.
A plan recently suggested supplying water to Kerman Province from the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. Although no measures have been taken to this effect, it is said to be the last resort.
Per capita consumption of water in Iran is higher than the global average. One reason is that water is much cheaper compared to most countries. The cost of water is a miniscule 0.4% in household expenses as it heavily subsidized.
While urban consumers pay 43% of its real price, only 23% of the production cost is paid by the rural people. Production of one cubic meter of water for urban use costs a little less than 10,000 rials (10 cents) and supplying the same to rural regions costs much higher.