As Coronavirus Spreads: Hand Washing Raises Water Use to Unusually High Levels in Iran
EghtesadOnline: Tehran Province Water and Wastewater Company (Abfa) said in a statement on Saturday that water consumption in the capital has increased dramatically in the past 10 days and appealed to Tehran residents to avoid waste and unnecessary use to help its avoid supply cuts.
Following outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran 60 other countries, the need to observe health safety measures, water consumption has jumped because of regular washing of hands and cleaning possessions and environment, ISNA reported.
Furthermore, the Persian New Year (Nowruz) is three weeks away and as per tradition, home cleaning is at its peak. Abfa has requested the people to avoid washing carpets, blankets, windows and to the best of their ability not use water for nonessential needs, Financial Tribune reported.
Water consumption in Tehran exceeded 3 million cubic meters on Friday, which is unusually high at this time of the year (despite the advent of Nowruz).
Increasing consumption in the past few days has led to drops in water pressure in some areas in Tehran and cuts in some surrounding towns and villages.
Bad Situation Getting Worse
In normal conditions, though, average water consumption in Tehran is 2.5 times more than the global average. The recent infectious disease has only made a bad situation worse.
Tehran accounts for less than 1.1% of the country’s land area, but accounts for 20% of the population and 45% of the industrial base. This means high and rising water consumption.
According to data from the Energy Ministry, the average Iranian uses 250 liters of water per day, while per capita water consumption in metropolises such as Tehran may exceed 300 liters.
Water consumption has also increased in the northern regions. According to the Mazandaran Province Rural Water and Wastewater Company, water consumption has shot up by 40% in the past few days as people wash their hands several times a day as prevention measure against the contagious virus.
Iran has confirmed 600 cases of infection with the new coronavirus, with 43 reported dead by Saturday noon.
The novel coronavirus, which was first reported in China in December, has caused an outbreak of respiratory illness (COVID-19) in Iran along with 60 other countries so far.
Safety measures against the virus includes cleaning hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
The total number of people worldwide who have tested positive for the virus has exceeded 86,000 with over 3,000 deaths.