Economic and Environmental Assessment of Drinking Water Production with the Desalination Approach of Desert Waters Near Playa (Case Study: Bajestan - Central Iran)

Document Type : Case study


1 PhD. Candidate in Watershed Management Science, Dept. of Watershed Science & Engineering, Faculty of Natural Resources, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Prof., Dept. of Watershed Science & Engineering, Faculty of Natural Resources, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

3 Assist. Prof., Dept. of Watershed Science & Engineering, Faculty of Natural Resources, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

4 Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Water Resources Engineering & Center for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

5 Master of Earth Sciences, Managing Director & Chief of the Board of Khorasan Razavi Water Authority, Mashhad, Iran


One of the major challenges in arid regions such as Iran is the supply of water with appropriate quantity and quality. Drought, disputes over water resources, and providing good quality and quantity water for drinking, agriculture, and industrial sector, have forced governments to use desalination technology or transfer water among watersheds, Water desalination is one of the solutions to providing drinking water in Central Iran and coastal areas. Bajestan plain is no exception and has been using this method for about 16 years to provide drinking water and health for residents. Investors have recently been encouraged to build mineral water plants in arid areas; While the socio-economic and its environmental consequences are not yet clear. The results of this study showed that to supply fresh water from desert saline water with EC about 7500 (µs/cm) and reverse osmosis method with a production volume of 1000 (m3/yr), the price per liter of water is equivalent to 45.067 IRR. In this process, around 500 m³ of saline water and more than 6 tons of salt will be produced, too. This amount of salt will increase the salinity of the lands around the pistachio fields and orchards by 2 to 3 times and decrease the yields by more than 60%. Results showed if the bottles are not recovered, more than 18 tons of polyethylene will be produced. The economic evaluation shows that the value of the Net Present Value Index is negative and Internal Rate of Return is not acceptable, and the B/C is 0.46, which indicates that it is not economical to implement. Implementation of this plan in other arid regions with these conditions will have similar results.


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