EghtesadOnline: The first phase of Darab Water Treatment Plant in Darab County, Fars Province, with production capacity of 150 liters per second was launched at the weekend.
Costing $10 million, the plant provides potable water to about 230,000 people in Darab and Zarrin Dasht counties in the southern province through a 114-km pipeline, the Energy Ministry news portal Paven reported.
When fully operational, the plant will reach the nominal capacity of 860 liters per second.
With this plant, now there are 149 water treatment units in different parts of Iran, Financial Tribune quoted Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian as saying.
The Energy Ministry has 146 power, water and wastewater projects in Fars Province with more than $586 million of investment.
The projects have made 46% progress on average and many of them are expected to come online in the next two years.
Speaking about wastewater, Ardakanian said, “collecting and processing wastewater is one of the indicators of development. It plays an important role in enhancing public health and creates a new source of water.”
A Reliable Source
Today, treated wastewater is the most reliable source of water for big industries. If proper investment is made in this sector, processed wastewater can be sold to industries even during droughts so that the production cycle can continue without disruption, he said.
There are 230 wastewater treatment plants in the country and output is used for agriculture and landscape irrigation as well as in industries, largely for heating and cooling.
Total sewage treatment capacity has reached 11 million cubic meters per day.
Processing wastewater is now fundamental to the development of industries and agriculture. One cubic meter of polluted water contaminates 40 cubic meters of clean water, which explains why collecting wastewater is key also to protecting the environment.
Given years of dwindling rainfall and rising consumption, authorities and independent experts have called for greater attention to collecting, treating and recycling water.
Over 7.5 billion cubic meters of usable water is annually produced of which 4.3 bcm is wasted. However, less than 25% of wastewater is recycled, which should increase.
Stressing the need to reduce waste, Ardakanian said 14% of water is wasted in the supply network. He urged the government to invest in replacing outdated systems and dilapidated pipelines to decrease the huge amount of waste.
Over 63,000 km of wastewater pipelines have been laid and 295 cities are connected to the national network.
Official reports say 48% of the urban population now has access to wastewater networks while the percentage in rural areas is a meager 1%.