EghtesadOnline: Projects are underway in two northwestern provinces of East Azarbaijan and Ardabil to help alleviate water shortage in the region.
A project to build a new pipeline to transfer water from Nahand Dam to Tabriz, the capital city of East Azarbaijan Province, has made 98% progress, the representative of Tabriz in Majlis said.
“The completion of the project will address the water shortage problem in the northern regions of Tabriz,” Seyyed Mohammad Reza Mir-Tajeddini was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
The new pipeline, which has cost about $2 million, is expected to be completed by October, he added.
The official noted that the new pipeline will replace the old one and help increase the water transfer capacity by 300 liters per second.
Upon the completion of the project, water transfer capacity to Tabriz will reach 950 liters/second.
More than 13% of drinking water required by Tabriz are supplied by Nahand Dam that is located 43 kilometers north of the provincial capital.
Low rainfall in the current water year (started September 2020) has caused water shortage in Tabriz as in many other parts of Iran. Therefore, to compensate for the lack of water, the provincial Regional Water Company has undertaken various water supply projects.
Besides the new water pipeline, drilling new wells is another program to supply water to Tabriz.
The company has planned to dig 30 wells to add 300 to 400 liters per second of water to the volume of water supplied to Tabriz. So far, 15 wells have been drilled.
Aras River Water Transfer
Another project to help address the water problems of Tabriz involves the transfer of water from Aras River in the northwest.
The length of water pipeline from Aras River to Tabriz is 140 kilometers, of which about 35 km have been completed.
However, the project has been halted for over eight years due to financial problems and it still awaits the allocation of the required budget by the government.
When completed, the pipeline will supply water to 3.3 million people in 22 cities and 16 villages in and around Tabriz.
East Azarbaijan's share of water from Aras River amounts to 282 million cubic meters a year, of which 180 mcm will be used for farming and industries, and the rest as potable water.
The agriculture sector in East Azarbaijan has a 12% share in Iran’s gross domestic product, 20% share in employment and an 80% share in meeting food demand.
The province is home to 1.22 million hectares of farms. Raisins, dairy products, tomato paste, apple juice, onions, lettuce and cabbage are the main agricultural products of the province.
Originating in Turkey, Aras flows eastward and forms international boundaries between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan to the north and Turkey and Iran in the south. After about 1,070 km, it joins the Kura River in Azerbaijan before reaching the Caspian Sea.
Iran is situated in an arid and semi-arid region, and average precipitation rate has fallen to levels way below the global average while underground water resources are drying up rapidly.
The average annual rainfall in the world is 750 millimeters, but the figure is 250 mm in Iran, which is one-third the global average.
Ardabil Water Projects
Mehr News Agency also reported that a water project has been launched in the eastern neighboring province of Ardabil.
The first phase of the project to supply water to the cities of Namin and Anbaran has become operational with an investment of $1.5 million.
The project, which started eight years ago, had been delayed several times due to lack of financial resources.
With the launch of the project, 80 liters per second of water are being supplied to the two cities.
The second phase of the project, estimated to cost $2.4 million, is expected to be completed next year and increase the supply capacity to 167 liters per second.
Besides providing water to the cities of Anbaran and Namin, the second phase will also supply water to five villages.
The construction of Anbaran Dam in Namin County is underway to supply farms and feed downstream wells and aqueducts.
About $1.3 million have been invested in the project. With a capacity of 1 million cubic meters, the dam has progressed by 60% and is expected to be inaugurated by 2022.