Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said plans are in place to provide regions straddling the southern coasts of Iran with potable water by building 50 water desalination units.
Speaking on the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony of Siraf water desalination unit in Bushehr Province on Thursday. Chitchian noted. Iran`s fledgling water desalination industry can certainly satisfy people`s need for safe drinking water in the Persian Gulf littoral provinces.
Commenting on the socio-economic impact of the initiative. the official said plans call for building 50 desalination plants in different areas adjacent to the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman.
One project is to be carried out in collaboration with Russia. Tehran has signed a $10 billion deal with Moscow to build two new nuclear power plants in Bushehr.
As part of the deal. a water desalination plant with a capacity to produce 200.000 cubic meters of water per day is planned to be built near the site of the nuclear reactors.
However. environmentalists do not advocate the use of desalinated water. arguing that the environmental and financial cost of treating saltwater outweigh its benefits in the long run.
According to Chitchian. more than 90% of Bushehr Province’s water is supplied from neighboring provinces. but dwindling water resources in those regions mean they cannot sustain a steady supply of water to Bushehr.
To tackle the water crisis across continents. desalination is becoming an attractive method to produce water from saline water sources. Around coastal regions. where salty water resources are plentiful. large and semi-large desalination plants are desirable. However. reports say that water desalination technologies are still costly and in most cases prohibitive.