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EghtesadOnline: Close to 90,000 kilometers of pipelines in the national water grid are old and dilapidated and must be replaced.

The national water network in cities stretches over 155,000 kilometers, of which around 25% (or 50,000 km) is decrepit in urban areas, IRNA reported.

Repairing one kilometer of the grid requires $30,000 and renovating the old and seeping pipelines will cost $1.1 billion, according to Financial Tribune.

Due to financial constraints, the state-owned National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company (Abfa) is capable of fixing only 3,000 kilometers of the grid a year. Small wonder the speed of pipeline corrosions have long outpaced renovation and repairs.

It is estimated that 6 billion cubic meters of clean water enters the water networks in urban areas every year.

Putting the length of the network in small towns at around 140,000 km, the state news agency said about 40% (or 50,000 km) of the pipelines need to be fixed. Close to $1.4 billion is needed to rehabilitate the rural grids where non-revenue water is 30%.

Iran has long been fighting drought and deep water deficits and it is apparent that cutting non-revenue water will be effective in addressing the worsening crisis that has caused serious concern among academia, conservationists and economic experts, namely experts involved in and dealing with the farming sector.

Non-revenue water refers to water that has been produced and lost in different ways before it reaches the customer.

Abfa has said it fixed 1.2 million kilometers of faulty plus 15,000 km of leaky pipelines between 2009 and 2018.

The utility also checked and repaired 221 kilometers of pipelines in addition to 126,000 water meters nationwide since March 2019. 

It is estimated that 153 million cubic meters of water is wasted in the country every year in the form of non-revenue water.

Abfa's non-revenue water (in urban areas) is 25.5%, of which 11.8% are real losses [through leaks] and 13.7% are apparent losses [metering errors].

A World Bank study puts the global estimate of physical water loss at 32 billion cubic meters a year, half of it in the developing countries. 


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