The aim of the project is to improve water security in the Middle East. Various cross-border research and development projects will be carried out – ranging from the use of innovative water technologies to efficient water sector management approaches.
The Mainz teams, led by Professor Sebastian Seiffert from JGU and Professor Michael Maskos, also from JGU and head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems IMM, will be participating in the BMBF project and collaborating with three partners from Iran and Iraq.
Iran is parched. Indeed, this year is expected to be among the driest in the last 50 years. Of the country’s 85 million people, some 28 million people live in water-stressed areas, mostly in the central and southern regions.
New pipelines supply desalinated water from the southern coasts to desert areas and industrial plants in several provinces, including Hormozgan, Kerman, Yazd, Isfahan, South Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, and Sistan and Balouchestan.
With the completion of 40 rural water supply projects in Markazi Province, water problems in 74 villages with 300,000 people have been resolved, managing director of the provincial Water and Wastewater Company said.
In short, almost 86% of the villages now have access to potable water, which is higher than the national average (70%),” Yousef Erfaninasab was quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry news portal Paven.
Apart from physical care of natural resources, biological protection of these resources is also on the agenda of the Forests, Rangelands, and Watershed Management Organization (FRWMO), Abbas-Ali Nobakht, deputy head of FRWMO, said on Wednesday.
Referring to the northern forests of the country, especially Golestan province, as the reserves of the rarest plant species, Nobakht noted that the importance of these natural resources is so high that some European countries requested to receive seeds of plant species of northern Iran.
The agriculture sector is not the only area that is affected by the water problems in the mentioned regions since most of the cities located in the said areas like Isfahan and Yazd are industrial centers and water shortage is severely impacting the production efficiency of the industrial units in the mentioned cities.
Some 163 trillion rials (about $3.88 billion) has been invested in the mentioned project which is being implemented by the Energy Ministry in collaboration with the Industry, Mining, and Trade Ministry.
Iran’s annual water consumption is about 99 billion cubic meters, of which less than 100 million cubic meters (per annum) is produced via 60 desalination plants in the coastal regions, namely Khuzestan, Hormozgan and Bushehr, ILNA reported.