By Nigar Orujova
The provision of fresh water has always been an issue for humanity and in the 21st century, it remains to be a matter of concern. Over two billion people are suffering from water shortage around the world now and in 10 years, the thirst for fresh water will trouble two-thirds of the world’s population.
Water resources are one of the most valuable natural resources for any country, especially for those that do not possess sufficient amounts of it. Azerbaijan is one of such countries, where drinking water supplies have always been short and unevenly distributed.
It goes without saying that water supply is a paramount issue for the population and economy of the country. That is why the rational use of freshwater has always been on the agenda in Azerbaijan. The country is addressing these issues systematically to handle the situation.
Today, the construction of infrastructure is a major priority for Azerbaijan, said President Ilham Aliyev upon opening Azersu’s Jeyranbatan ultrafiltration water purification facility complex on October 28.
The complex has a capacity of 6.6 cubic meters per second or 570,000 cubic meters per day. The water processed in the complex is transmitted to consumers via the Zira Jeyranbatan pipeline.
The Jeyranbatan ultra-filtration water purification facility complex and the Jeyranbatan-Zira water pipeline project will provide regular and high-quality drinking water to residential areas of Baku and the Absheron Peninsula.
“This is really a great and historic event. From now on, the water supplied to the city of Baku, Absheron district, will fully meet the standards of the World Health Organization,” the head of state stressed.
This complex is the world's largest water purification facility, the construction of which the state has allocated a great amount of public funding. The complex uses the most modern technologies and experience from leading companies in the world.
The new facility, together with other recently opened objects like the Tahtakerpu reservoir, will make a huge contribution to the water supply not only the Absheron Peninsula, but also throughout the country.
“The aim is to continuously supply all cities of Azerbaijan and all residents with clean drinking water,” the president noted.
Azerbaijan’s key sources of water are the Kura, Araz and Samur rivers that originate outside of the country. This means that ensuring the water resource needs of Azerbaijan is a matter of not only the economy, but also the security of the country. The price of the fresh water will always remain high, regardless of oil prices.
Annually, the funds are allocated from the Reserve Fund of the President to allow for the drilling of at least 300 sub-artesian wells. Water purification facilities have been constructed in villages along the river.
Azerbaijan and Baku are especially faced with the problem of drinking water for centuries, which has its natural causes. However, the opening of new facilities means that the settlements of Baku that for years suffered from a lack of drinking waters, from now on will receive the clean water.
The work done in recent years leads to the fact that the continuous supply of drinking water in Baku has reached almost 80 percent. However, the modern, developing city Baku aims to supply its population with clean drinking water by 100 percent around the clock.
“Certainly, the water industry in Baku should be updated more rapidly. The network system is not yet fully in line with our standards,” the head of state noted. “But work is underway in this direction, and we all, of course, want to see in a short time that all the people in our city could drink water right from the tap.”
The president said that the economic development of the country will allow to implement projects that are currently have no solution, primarily including drinking water projects.
“Clean drinking water should be not only in Baku and other large cities, but also in all the settlements,” President Aliyev stressed. “Clean drinking water means healthy life.”
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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