Iran has launched a $1.5 billion project to bring water for drinking and irrigation from the Caspian Sea to its central desert.
Monday's report on state TV did not say how long it would take to complete the project.
The TV says the water will be pumped from the Caspian Sea — the world's largest enclosed body of water. After desalination at the point of origin, it will be transported through a 500 kilometre-long pipeline to the central Kavir desert, bringing about 200 million cubic meters (7,062 cubic feet) of water per year.
Nearly 14 percent Iran's territory is desert and suffers from prolonged droughts.
The Caspian Sea is shared by Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Its salinity is about a third of that of sea water.