EghtesadOnline: Transforming traditional wells into smart wells in Sabzevar, Khorasan Razavi Province, has helped reduce extraction of underground water by 20%, head of the provincial water company said.
“There are 1,600 authorized wells in the city, all of which are equipped with smart electricity meters decreasing water extraction from underground resources by 20%,” Mohammad Sabeti Moqadam was quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry’s news portal Wednesday.
Drawing water from renewable sources in the province has reached frightening levels, he said, adding that at least 25% of what is consumed now belongs to future generations, Financial Tribune reported.
Referring to measures to reverse the dangerous trend, he said, “Not only sealing illegal wells but also installing intelligent meters on legal wells is a priority.”
Equipping wells with the new system helps utility companies closely monitor water use online.
Farming gobbles 55% of underground water and not using the dwindling resources prudently mean disaster in the sense that fruit gardens and farms will dry up, he warned.
“Smart’ or ‘intelligent’ wells are advanced wells with sensors and valves installed downhole to allow easy and systematic monitoring.
Injudicious use and waste of groundwater from legal and illegal wells has emerged as a major problem in Iran's struggle against the water crisis that has gotten worse over the past half century as precipitation declines and consumption rises.
According to the news portal, government-affiliated Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) installed 307,000 smart electricity meters in farms in 2018 in the first phase of the National Smart Metering Program (known as Faham in Persian).
Renewable water resources show an appalling 20% decline over five years, down from 130 billion cubic meters in 2013 to 105 billion cubic meters now.
Renewable resources were close to 140 bcm in 1999 and after that came the rapidly descending order ever since. It fell to 135 bcm, 130 bcm and 105 bcm in 2007, 2013 and 2017 respectively.
Average annual renewable water resource is 114 bcm, of which 70 bcm is exploitable. Iran's annual water consumption exceeds 100 bcm – a pattern that is unacceptable by both regional and international norms where people are more conscious about the value and role of the precious resource.