EghtesadOnline: More than 220 major power and water projects worth $3 billion will come on stream by the end of the current fiscal (March 2020), the Energy Minister said Monday.
“Nine thermal power plants and 28 renewable power stations will come online and water supply projects for 1,124 villages will be completed,” the Energy Ministry news portal Paven quoted Reza Ardakanian as saying.
“The annual average addition to the installed power capacity has been close to 2,200 MW since 2013. The nine power plants will add 3,000 plus megawatts to the total output of 82,000 MW in the second half of this year (September 2019-March 2020),” Ardakanian said.
Investment in renewables continues by the private sector, although it has slowed down in the past year due to fluctuations in the currency market, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
However, with the launch of the 28 renewable plants, 280 MW will be added to the current capacity of renewable.
Ten dams in six provinces will start taking water by the yearend. Together they can hold 745 million cubic meters of water.
Launch of 29 wastewater treatment plants in 16 provinces and 12 water treatment plants in 9 provinces are among other programs of the ministry for this fiscal year.
Rural Water Supply
Providing over 726,000 people in 1,124 villages with potable water is also in the cards.
In 2017, some 1,583 villages with 1.17 million people were provided with drinking water and a year later 1,511 villages, home to 1.2 million people, got potable water.
Now more than 29,000 villages with a population of around 17 million, which makes up 83% of the rural population, have access to fresh water.
Supplying rural areas with clean water has been among the Energy Ministry priority this year.
Access to safe drinking water is a major concern throughout the world. Health risks arise from consumption of water contaminated with pollutants or harmful chemicals that can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.
Safe and readily available water is important for public health, whether it is used for drinking, domestic use, food production or recreation.
According to Energy Ministry data, in the past five years, over 5.5 million people on the outskirts of urban and rural areas have gotten access to potable water.
Thousands of villages have been depopulated partly due to the long years of drought over half a century that saw unusually large numbers of people migrate to cities in search of a livelihood as water became a precious commodity and economic conditions deteriorated.
Improved water supply and sanitation and better water management can help improve economic growth, contribute to poverty alleviation and check rural-urban migration.