As access to water becomes a herculean task in countries big and small, an increasing number of regions worldwide are facing a looming crisis that has become a serious cause of concern threatening people’s livelihoods.
Located in an arid and semi-arid region, Iran has suffered from drought for decades. Challenges in supplying potable, agricultural and industrial water, drying of lakes, rivers and wetlands, declining groundwater levels, land subsidence, water quality degradation, soil erosion, desertification and dust storms are the clear signs of this crises.
Water stress management strategies are divided into two categories: short-term and long-term solutions. Short-term solutions are primarily centered on supply management, and long-term solutions are mainly based on demand management as well as the macro policies of the water sector.
Development of Saline, Brackish Water Desalination Facilities
The southern coastal regions of Iran linked to open waters have given the country access to unlimited unconventional water resources, which, if utilized correctly, can be a unique solution to the drinking and industrial water concerns.
The more industries face serious water concerns, the more they feel the need to participate development of necessary infrastructure, including water desalination projects, water transmission networks.
MAPNA Group is attempting to address this problem by investing in the country’s water business under build-own-operate (BOO) and build-own-transfer (BOT) contracts. MAPNA Investment Projects Division, which is in charge of the Group’s investments, has carried out several projects in the key sector through direct investment. The conglomerate is currently engaged in a number of similar projects.
Treatment and Recycling of Urban and Industrial Wastewater
Human sewage and industrial wastewater, which are known as another important sources of unconventional water, are used for agricultural and industrial purposes after treatment. Handing wastewater to private sector investors are also among reliable solutions to fund wastewater treatment network and infrastructure.
This is especially true in Iran’s central regions, where, despite severe water scarcity, many water-intensive industries are located.
Optimization of Productivity Index in Agricultural, Industrial and Urban Water Consumption
When comparing with industrialized and developing countries, it is evident that Iran’s water productivity index, which is defined as the amount of GDP per cubic meter of water extracted, is significantly lower. As a result, paying attention to this issue is critical in agricultural and industrial applications.
The unrealistic pricing of water for different users is one of the biggest challenges to boosting the water production index in Iran. Consumption optimization, wastewater recycling and treatment, and the use of cutting-edge technologies are all viable ways to raise this score.
In this regard, MAPNA Group has prioritized plans to use state-of-the-art technologies in water treatment facilities, such as blow down recovery (BDR) and wastewater recycling systems in its new power plant projects with the aim of increasing productivity and reducing thermal power plant water consumption.
Water, Energy, Food & Environment Nexus
Human needs are centered on water, energy, and food. There is a cycle of interaction between these resources: We require water and energy resources to generate food; if we need to produce energy, we must use water; and if we want to access water, we must use energy. Food can also be used to generate electricity.
However, how we manage the process of supplying any of these resources can have a significant influence on the environment. As a result, in order to achieve sustainable development, the impact of each of these components on each other and must be evaluated via macro decisions in order to preserve their balance.
Participation in Seawater Desalination & Transfer Megaprojects
Given the limited water resources in Iran and its unequal distribution on the one hand and access to seawater resources on the southern and northern coasts of the country on the other hand, the implementation of desalination projects and transfer of seawater to the eastern and central plateaus of the country seems a reasonable option. MAPNA Group, is ready to participate in the investment, design and engineering, procurement, and construction of industrial main equipment in the water sector, particularly water desalination facilities and power plants that supply the desalination, purification, and transfer needs, if the barriers to investment in these projects are removed.
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