Management of Water Resources Critical

Management of Water Resources CriticalManagement of Water Resources Critical

The excessive withdrawal of renewable water resources in recent years has ravaged Iran's available water resources, according to the managing director of Iran Water Resources Management, Mohammad Haj-Rasouliha.

"The national renewable water resources have shrunk by 30 billion cubic meters from an earlier pool of 130 due to unwarranted use," he was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.

Haj-Rasouliha MADE the above statements at the first technical panel discussion on "Water Management: Challenges and Strategies" held on the periphery of the 11th International Water and Wastewater Exhibition of Iran, also known as Watex 2015.

The official called for more teamwork among the beneficiaries and stakeholders of the water sector.

Average rainfall is around 750 millimeters in the world while Iran’s annual precipitation is only a third of the figure. A 2013 study by the World Resources Institute ranked Iran as the world’s 24th most water-stressed nation, putting it at extremely high risk of future water scarcity.

"Iran's average precipitation has fallen to 205 mm in the past 15 years, down from 250 mm some 15 years ago, further reinforcing the urgency of water governance in the present time," he said.

The United Nations Development Program 2000 defines water management as the range of political, social, economic and administrative systems that are in place to regulate development and management of water resources and provisions of water services.

Haj-Rasouliha mentioned urbanization, metropolitan water supply systems growing more complicated, competition among agriculture, industry and cities for limited water supplies, considerable environmental bottlenecks, inter-provincial water sharing conflicts, imbalanced water supply and demand by watersheds, deterioration of the quality of groundwater in aquifers, and social tensions as the present and future challenges concerning water.

"Water resources shared between two or more provinces, a sense of ownership of water resources, perceived discrimination or exploitation of a shared water source, meager water resources due to dry spells or overconsumption, political and social pressures on the collective psyche for personal gain are other areas of future conflict," he said.

Taking stock of issues throttling Urmia, Karkheh and Zayanderoud watersheds, Haj-Rasouliha underlined the pivotal role of water management in regulating national water resources and balancing supply and consumption through coordinated distribution, preserving resources to meet the economic, social and environmental needs, and reducing intersectional quarrels as well as attracting participation of benefactors.

"Heeding all technical, environmental, socio-cultural, legal, security and political areas and aspects of water management could be a step toward greater harmony among related executives and organizations," he said.