IRAN LAUNCHES $1-BN PROJECT TO BRING WATER TO DESERT
- Iran on Monday, April 16 officially launched a $1-billion first phase of an ambitious project to pump water from the Caspian Sea to a city in its vast and expanding central desert, AFP reported citing state media.
The initial phase will see a desalination plant and pipes built over the next two years to supply water to the desert city of Semnan, population 200,000, according to officials.
"The desert is growing... therefore we need to control its growth," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the northern city of Sari, near the Caspian shore.
The first phase would see water for drinking, irrigation and industrial use taken from the Caspian, treated to rid it of salt, and pumped to Semnan, 150 kilometres (90 miles) away to the south.
The first desalination plant to be built would have a capacity of 200 million cubic metres per year, or 548 million litres a day, according to Energy Minister Majid Namjou.
Khatam al-Anbiya group, the industrial arm of Iran's powerful military Revolutionary Guards which has interests in key economic sectors, is handling work on the project.
Later, two other phases are planned that would pump more water into desert areas from the Caspian Sea and from the Gulf, the media said.
Iran has operated several other desalination plants for decades for other regions.
Such seawater treatment facilities are also in use in other wealthy and arid Middle East countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Israel, to augment scarce water supplies.
- 1879 Death in Moscow (Russia) of Stepanos Nazaryan, editor of the "Aurora Borealis". He was born in 1812.
- 1918 The "Messenger Book" daily is published in Tbilissi (Georgia): the first Soviet newspaper in Armenian.
- 1923 The Soviet of People's Committee of the Armenian SSR creates the State Cinema of Soviet Armenia (HayFilm).
- 1953 Academician Hrachia Atcharyan (linguist) dies in Yerevan. He was born in 1876.
- 1958 Death of composer Vagharshak Srvandztian.
- 1959 The Armenian SSR Supreme Soviet confirms the new Education Policy of Armenia.
- 1984 The US House of Representatives accepts a resolution (number 247) requesting that the Government announce that 1985 04 24 be designated a "National Day of Commemoration of Man's Inhumanity to Man".
- 1984 The Permanent People's Tribunal recognized the Armenian Genocide.
- 1998 An international seminar took place in the Sorbonne (Paris) on the Armenian Genocide. It was organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Party and financed by the See of Cilicia.