EghtesadOnline: Twelve small and large dams are in different stages of construction in southern Bushehr Province with a total investment of $174 million, the caretaker of Bushehr Regional Water Company said.
The dams will help store surface runoff in different parts of the province, Hossein Bashizadegan noted.
“Bushehr water consumption in agriculture, industry and household sectors exceeds one billion cubic meters per year,” Bashizadegan was quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry news portal Paven.
Water used in different sectors is supplied from surface, groundwater and desalination sources, according to Financial Tribune.
“Annually 871 million cubic meters of water is used for farming in the province, households consume 114 mcm and 60 mcm is used by industries,” he added.
When construction of the new dams is over, 480 mcm of water will be added to the province’s annual water storage capacity, the official said.
Main agricultural products in the province include wheat, barley, onion, sesame, tomato, egg plant, lemon and date among others.
Known as an industrial province, Bushehr is home to major refineries and power plants. The giant South Pars Gas Field is located in the Asalouyeh County.
Iran’s sole nuclear power plant is also in Bushehr Province. The water needed for facilities is supplied from the Persian Gulf, and their water consumption is not included in the data provided by the regional water company.
The arid province is one the most water-stressed regions. Conditions are so bad that water authorities have been forced to send water in tankers to various areas to ensure that the people have access to the precious resource.
Bushehr’s water shortage is the outcome of overreliance on old and eroded pipelines, from which large volumes of water seeps out failing to reach the intended destinations.
To help ensure supply of potable water, desalination plants have been set up along Bushehr’s coastal areas off the Persian Gulf.
Construction of three desalination units is underway. The projects with annual desalination capacity of 20 million cubic meters will become operational by next March.
Three units with total capacity to process 75,000 cubic meters of saline water per day are operating in the region and when complete half of the population or 600,000 residents in cities and small towns will have access to desalinated water.
Seawater or saltwater is desalinated to produce water suitable for human consumption or irrigation.
As a result, tapping into the sea to produce clean water is on the Energy Ministry agenda because it is much more viable in maintaining a sustainable supply of water rather than depleting the fast dwindling underground resources, most of which are on the verge of drying up.
According to officials, 18 provinces with nearly 60% of the total population are on the verge of water tension and addressing the worsening water crisis has become a major preoccupation of conservationists and policymakers.
There are now 82 desalination plants in the country processing 155 billion cubic meters per annum.