Economy, Domestic Economy

Tehran Water Supply Could be Rationed

Tehran Water Supply  Could be Rationed Tehran Water Supply  Could be Rationed

Tehran will face an exacerbated water crisis unless immediate reforms are implemented, the governor of Tehran province told news outlets recently.

An extraordinarily dry winter combined with continuing wasteful consumption patterns will severely affect a city largely dependent for its water needs on seasonal snow water coming from the surrounding Alborz mountain range.

During a session of the Tehran Province Management Committee, Governor Isa Farhadi stated that: “If no reforms are adopted for the water and sewage system in the upcoming year (March 2015 – March 2016), water will certainly be rationed.”

Precipitation in Tehran has dropped by 25 percent this year, ILNA quoted Farhadi as saying. “We are 49 percent away from a desirable level of water consumption,” he added.

Farhadi believes reforming water recycling methods can in the short-term be effective in dealing with the drought.

Tehran produces 850 million cubic meters of water waste every year. The capital could filter and reuse much of this waste water and employ it in sectors such as industry and agriculture, as the latter accounts for more than 90 percent of the country’s total water consumption.

First Vice-President, Eshaq Jahangiri, says the Ministry of the Interior should organize crisis groups to explore possible solutions to the drought.

“National crisis groups should follow up the issue of drought in general and the issue of drinking water in particular and inform the public about how we can economize on water consumption,” said the VP recently.

Given the current low levels of water reserves, the coming summer looks set to be particularly dry. Proposals to fight this crisis include organizing professional teams to change the water infrastructure so that drinkable water is separated from non-potable water. Additionally, these teams could help reduce and save on water consumption.

According to Isa Bozorg-Zadeh, technical manager at the Iran Water and Power Resources Company, most of the annual rainfall in Iran is concentrated in just 30 percent of the country. Tehran, although by far the largest metropolis in the country, is not part of this region. He added that the annual rainfall in Iran is half the average in Asia.

Iran, like many other countries in the Middle East, traditionally pumps water from underground reserves to supply consumption needs, notably for agriculture. The depletion of these underground water reserves has been blamed for the exacerbating drought, diminishing ground fertility and desertification.