EghtesadOnline: Daily water consumption in Tehran has reached 3.6 million cubic meters that is unprecedented in the history of the metropolis, managing director of Tehran Province Water and Wastewater Company said at the weekend.
“Consumption in the sprawling capital has risen 20% or 600,000 cubic meters per day since March when the figure approached 3 mcm/d,” Mohammadreza Bakhtiari was quoted as saying by ILNA.
The new record is 100,000 cubic meters higher than the previous one (3.5 mcm), which was set on July 19, 2019.
“Average water consumption in Tehran has experienced an ascending order and increased 200,000 cubic meters per month in the last 80 days.”
Average consumption in April and May was 3.2 mcm/d and 3.4 mcm/d, respectively, and has reached 3.6 mcm/d in June.
According to the TPWWC boss, annual consumption rise in Tehran was 4% between 2010 and 2019 in line with to population growth. However, growth reached 11% in 2020.
Although heavy rains between February and April helped increase the water in dams, high and rising consumption in the past few hotter weeks has led to drops in water pressure in some areas in Tehran and cuts in some surrounding small towns.
Soaring temperatures during the past two weeks (35°C and above) has made majority of households and businesses crank up traditional cooling systems that are very water-intensive.
Moreover, outbreak of the coronavirus and the need to adopt health safety measures has made a bad situation worse. In normal conditions, average water consumption in Tehran is 2.5 times over the he global average.
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.
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 and that persistent appeals for judicious consumption falling on deaf ears.
Water consumption has also increased in other regions, especially in the north. According to the Mazandaran Province Rural Water and Wastewater Company, 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.
Referring to water supply capacity in Tehran, Bakhtiari noted that close to 3.8 mcm of water can be transferred from dams around the city (namely Taleqan, Latyan, Mamlou, Karaj and Lar) to water treatment facilities on a daily basis.
“If necessary, all water treatment plants will operate at full capacity in which case the volume of treated water can reach 4 mcm/d.”
Bakhtiari reiterated that there is no way pathogens (coronavirus or any other virus) can contaminate the water supply and distribution chain as chlorine levels (at least 4 milligrams per liter) are high enough to destroy the viruses.
“Covid-19 virus has not been and will never be detected in drinking water” as current drinking water disinfection practices provide the means to control most pathogenic bacteria and viruses responsible for major waterborne diseases, he said.
Chlorination has been the predominant method of drinking water disinfection all over the world for nearly 70 years, he recalled.
Chlorine, a strong oxidizing and disinfecting agent, is used not only as the main disinfectant in water treatment, but is also added to provide a disinfectant residual to protect water in the distribution process where chlorine is in contact with water for much longer periods during treatment.