Water Desalination Taking Center Stage in Bandar Abbas
EghtesadOnline: The second development phase of Bandar Abbas water desalination unit in Hormozgan Province became operational on Thursday, managing director of the provincial Water and Wastewater Company said.
"Using reverse osmosis technology, the plant purifies 20,000 cubic meters of water a day and is planned to reach 100,000 cubic meters by June 2020," Amin Qasmi was quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry’s news portal.
To help address the water crisis in the region where underground resources are drying up rapidly, producing water from saline water sources which contain a high concentration of dissolved salt is inevitable, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Reverse osmosis is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules and larger particles from drinking water.
The first phase of the plant with a total capacity of 100,000 cubic meters a day went on stream in 2018.
“The new unit will supply a part of the port city’s urban and rural regions with potable water from the Persian Gulf.”
Lack of safe water for the urban and rural folks is a problem and must be addressed on a priority basis, he concurred.
Several villages in the area have been abandoned and expanding Bandar Abbas water desalination infrastructure can help curb migration and contribute to sustainable rural development in the dry regions, he added.
There are 17 desalination units in the province producing 62,000 cubic meters of water a day.
Hormozgan has a population of 1.6 million and 1.1 million are covered by services of the provincial Water and Wastewater Company.
Desalination plants now provide significant volumes of water in the northern and southern coastal regions.
A desalination plant with one million cubic meter capacity in Bandar Abbas is under construction and is expected to go on stream by 2021.
Currently, wells and dams provide 71% of the water used in the province. Seventeen desalination units are in different stages of construction in the province and it is projected that by 2022, use of underground water resources will decline to 34% and the share of purified water will rise to 66%.
Experts say the fledgling domestic desalination industry can and should meet the need for potable water in the Persian Gulf littoral provinces.
As a result, tapping into the sea to produce clean water is high on the Energy Ministry agenda (despite strong opposition from experts) as it is seen as more viable for maintaining sustainable supplies rather than depleting the fast dwindling underground water tables, most of which are on the verge of drying up.
However, prominent conservationists, climatologists and water experts say the transfer of sea water to the dry regions is “a band-aid solution” and must be avoided.
Iran produces 420,000 cubic meters of freshwater per day, or 148 million cubic meters per annum.