11257
Conference to Address Pressing Issues Facing Groundwater Resources
Economy, Domestic Economy

Conference to Address Pressing Issues Facing Groundwater Resources

To publicize the results of recent studies and research on groundwater resources by the National Center of Strategic Studies of Agriculture and Water, a one-day conference is being held in Tehran today (February 16), attended by more than 200 farmers, researchers and officials from the ministry of agriculture jihad, ministry of energy and chamber of commerce.
The conference will discuss groundwater challenges and programs, vulnerability assessment in forbidden and critical plains and the future management of groundwater resources and the results of three years of various filed studies, local and international consultations and scientific research will be conveyed to relevant officials, policy makers and other attendants. The agriculture sector is scheduled to release a statement at the end of the conference.
Based on the law of “Improving the Business Environment” approved by the parliament in early 2012, the chamber of commerce is tasked to tackle agricultural related issues, specifically in terms of water resourses, said head of the National Center of Strategic Studies of Agriculture and Water, Mohammad-Hossein Shariatmadar in a press conference, as reported by Fars news agency.
“As a result, the chamber of commerce, industries and mines was renamed the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture leading to the establishment of the National Center of Strategic Studies of Agriculture and Water, to prioritized and address water and agriculture related issues within three years with the aim of boosting the agriculture sector,” Shariatmadar added.

  Overuse
Due to drought, precipitation declines, climate change and its consequences, the long-term capacity of groundwater resources mostly used for agriculture (90%), domestic consumption (8.5%), and industry (1.5%) has decreased from 130 billion, cubic meters to less than 100 billion, IRNA quoted deputy minister of agricultural jihad, Abbas Keshavarz, as saying.
Based on Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), any country with per capita water consumption of 1000-1700 cubic meters would face water tensions in the long run. While the figure for the northwestern regions of Iran, central Iran and northern provinces stands at 400, 300, and 500 cube meters respectively, western regions as well as some northern provinces use between 1500-1800 cube meters per capita, Keshavarz said, adding that Iran has exhausted more than 75% of its water resources, well above the limit of 40%, leading to water crisis
He warned that due to technological progress, groundwater usage accelerated through digging more water wells, which increased the number of wells in recent years from 40,000 to 170,000. If groundwater overuse continues, “we should expect diminished water quality, cultivation pattern change, inefficiency, and production decrease leading to joblessness and migration as well.”

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