Water and wastewater is very important due to Iran climatic conditions and its torrential river status. Water and wastewater is a deep- rooted industry, which is begun with Iran’s history. Ancient dams, constructing artificial injection of underground aquifers, reservoirs, aqueducts, ancient purification plants, water networks, and wastewater collection indicate that this industry is very old. Due to current Iran climate and by considering its status, water, and wastewater sector has a great strategic importance. Nearly 150 dams are under construction now and 540 dams are under investigation.
There are more than 600 dams in operation currently. The numbers of deep and semi- deep wells are amounted to 473,829 in Iran in the year ended in March 2016. Consumed water volume is about 4.5 BCM. 92% of water is applying in agriculture, 6% in drinking water, and 2% in industry.
Iran’s average precipitation was 196 mm since October 2016 to April 2017. During this period, the most significant precipitation is related to Persian Gulf and Oman Sea with 338 mm.
Cumulative precipitation through Iran (mm)
Wells and underground water
According to statistics, the number of deep and semi- deep wells are over 473,829 and their discharge volume is 45,599 MCM in Iran since the year ended in March 2016 which can be categorized as follow:
– Villages’ drinking water and sanitation are13,382 wells with 1,397 MCM discharge volume
– Urban drinking water and sanitation are 7,680 wells with 3,369 MCM discharge volume
– Agricultural water supply are 407,323 wells with 41,889M CM discharge volume
– Industries water supply are 45,454 wells with 24,038 MCM discharge volume
Groundwater resources and the annual drainage in terms of main water basins (MCM)
Under operation dams in Iran are Over 600 currently and the large dams are amounted to 140. Nearly 150 dams are under construction and 540 dams are also under investigation. Total capacity of under operating dams is about 48.8 BCM (BCM). Annual adjustable volumes are estimated more than 34 BCM. wide activities have been performed in the field of dams and related structures over the past decades in Iran.
Iran’s dams status by different process
Water consumption and distribution
Water consumption volume is about 410.4 MCM in Iran per year. Total number of Iranian water subscribers is over 15 mn. Water consumers’ population passes over 99%. Iran’s drinking water consumption per capita (including commercial, industrial, domestic, green space, etc.) is estimated around 204 ltr per day. Water consumption’s growth rate is less than 2% per year. Currently drinking water networks are over 145,000 km. The water lines length reaches to 28,000 km.
Iran water industry statistics
Source: Iran Water and Wastewater Company
The most water consumption volume is in the agriculture sector. Drinking and industrial water sector allocated only 8% of total consumption.
Water consumption sectors in Iran
In addition to Iran’s activities in water industry, wastewater sector is also under developing. Attention to water and wastewater has been increased due to Iran’s climate status and reduced rainfall in recent years. 160 wastewater refineries have been utilized so far. Approximately 85 MCM of wastewater is filtered and 55 MCM of which are extracted annually.
Iran rural and urban wastewater statistics
– Large- scale government investment in the water sector
– Flourishing dam building industry
– Recent decision to significantly improve and develop wastewater facilities
– Majority of urban population connected to main water networks
– Insufficient water supplies for an ever- increasing population
– Low tariffs and ineffective bill collection mean high water consumption and poor water conservation in this water- stressed country
– Ageing equipment and lack of regulation contribute to high water loss and frequent illegal extraction
– Severe lack of sewage systems, especially in rural areas contribute to high levels of water pollution and worsening contamination of resources
– Limit on industrial water use in favor of agriculture
– Higher tariffs and bill collection will make the sector more financially viable and more attractive to private investment
– The government has been advised to reward companies that treat and re- use their own water and this practice is increasing
– Reducing pollution will improve water quality for water- dependent industries
– Recent government plan to reduce agricultural water usage and improve efficiency could drastically reduce strain on the water supply
– Continued overexploitation of groundwater supplies could leave reservoirs dry or contaminated
– Increasing irrigated area could put more pressure on already diminishing supplies
– Poor water quality and sanitation amid increasing drought conditions could cause major public health issues
In addition to considering the rules improvement in the investment field, paying attention to codify new laws in Iran’s 6th development plan and protecting water and wastewater industry, Ministry of Energy provided incentives to attract investors. These investment incentives include:
– Purified water and wastewater guaranteed purchase contract;
– Guaranteed purchase of created services;
– National and wasteland cession to investors in form of incentive packages to increase investment efficiency and decrease recurrence period;
– Land ownership from construction site;
– Water certification issue for surplus water appropriation (right);
– License issue for water sale or cession.
– Investment’s incentives in the water and wastewater sector in cludes: Guaranteed purchase water extraction and refined wastewater, water- saving surplus of water rights, pay for water transfer right and also the possibility of water extraction ceding and refined wastewater for a limited period.
Investment opportunities in the dams and related structures
Due to under implementation projects extended volume in the field of dam construction and limited financial resources, there is the possibility of private sector’s active and remarkable presence in this arena. Already 30 investment projects has been defined including dams construction, drainage network and hydroelectric power plant construction in private and public joint fields, which are available for presenting to investors.
The joint investment plans prepared by public and private sector
There are diversified investment opportunities in private sector’s direct investment (domestic and foreign). Over 540 under investigation construction sites for large, medium and small dam and related facilities creates proper investment opportunities. About 40 dam constructing projects are under implementation with a total capacity of 20 BCM in Iran Water and Power Resources Development Company subset. The following table shows prepared investment projects by private sector.
Prepared investment projects by private sector
Investment opportunities in water supply networks
There are diversified investment opportunities in the field of water supply networks. -Investment opportunities in this field include:
– Direct investment in constructing water transmission lines cross fields
– Water supply networks construction
– Constructing drinking, Industrial and agricultural water transmission lines
– Construction of refined wastewater transmission lines
– Constructing small power plants in water supply tracks
Prepared plans to invest in water supply networks
Investment in wastewater facilities
There are diverse opportunities for investment in urban wastewater. Serious requirement of various cities to wastewater collection, purification and utilization, has provided favorable conditions for investment. Over 133 water supply and wastewater refinery constructions projects are defined as new plans, having private sector’s investment capability. The table below shows the private sector investment opportunities in constructing of wastewater facilities.
Private sector’s investment opportunities in wastewater facilities construction
private sector Investment opportunities in water supply projects
Iran’s Investment investigative projects in desalination plants
Laws & Regulations
According to the “fair water distribution” law, public resources allocation, and utilization for drinking water, agriculture, industry and other consumptions are exclusively with the Ministry of Energy. Ministry of Energy is responsible for water prices for urban, agricultural, and industrial usage and other purposes according to the method of extraction for each type of consumption in Iran as determined after approval by Economy Council as follow:
In cases where the water exploitation adopted by the government and presented as an adjusted product to the consumers, the water price will be received from consumers by considering the current expenses such as management, maintenance, repair, utilization and facility depreciation. These expenses will be determined based on the economic and social conditions of each region.
In cases where the water exploitation does not adopt by the government, it could determine some taxes and tolls and receive them from the consumers with regarding to the monitoring and per formed service due to economic and social condition of related areas.
Utilizing underground water resources through the drilling well and aqueduct at any region should be carried out with the permission of Ministry of Energy, with the exception of cases mentioned under Article 5 of this law and the mentioned ministry shall take measures regarding to the issue of drilling permits, in taking into view the hydrological specifications (Geology of earth and underground water resources) concerned to region and the regulations provided for in this law.
According to The “removing barriers to the expansion of production and government regulations” law, water and wastewater guaranteed purchase from private sector’s investors is permanent.