EghtesadOnline: Four water and electricity projects were launched in Yazd Province on Saturday including one electricity project in Abarkouh County and three water projects in Khatam, Meybod and Ardakan counties, the Energy Ministry news portal Paven reported.
The project in Abarkouh is a 230kV power transmission line 89-kilometer-long to supply electricity to Esmalun mines. Khansar Dam in Herat city, Khatam County, has a capacity to hold 23.4 million cubic meters of water.
It is the first dam in the central province and built on the Herat River. Construction of the dam started 11 years ago.
The dam will supply water for drinking, industrial and farming purposes in the region and prevent flooding and loss of surface waters during seasonal rains.
Although a dry and desert province, torrential rainfall and flash floods are reported during spring.
Another project was the 20,000-cubic-meter storage tank in Meybod to improve water storage for Meybod and Ardakan cities in times of serious shortages and when normal water supply is disrupted.
The first phase of Meybod-Ardakan water transmission line was also inaugurated including laying 4.9 kilometers of pipelines and two 1,000-cubic-meter storage tanks.
According to the provincial Water and Wastewater Company, water supply and transmission pipelines in Yazd stretches over 3,000 kilometers, of which 35% is old and should be replaced to cut the huge water loss in the form of seepage and waste.
Daily water demand in the parched central region is close to 230,000 cubic meters of which 120,000 cubic meters is extracted from depleting ground resources and the rest is piped from neighboring areas like Isfahan.
Per capita water consumption in Yazd with a population of 900,000 is 200 liters. The region needs 180,000 cubic meters of water a day but gets 230,000, which means 50,000 cubic meters is wasted where every drop counts.
Agriculture accounts for 83% of the water used in the province. On average 700 million cubic meters of water annually enters the underground aquifers, whereas water taken from groundwater sources every year is above 1 billion cubic meters, resulting in severe water deficits.
Groundwater overdraft, surpassing 3.2 bcm over the last 20 years, has increased dust storms and created sinkholes in the plains. In addition, it has raised salt content in the groundwater while land subsidence worsens.
Regarding water supply in the key industrial province, Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said plans underway to improve the situation. One is desalination.
The first phase of water transfer from the Persian Gulf to Kerman and Yazd provinces for industrial use has come online, bringing water from the south to Kerman. The megaproject will soon supply water to Yazd Province.
Yazd has a population of 900,000, 15% of which live in rural areas. It is one of Iran's known centers for textiles and factories making ceramics and construction material.