Deep Water Extraction Proposed

Deep Water Extraction ProposedDeep Water Extraction Proposed

Extracting drinking water from a depth of 800-1,000 meters in some areas of Iran is viable, a deputy energy minister said, referring to a series of studies.

Rahim Meidani underscored extracting water from deep underground reservoirs to meet the country's worsening demand for potable water and said, "Drilling wells to reach drinking water in deep layers is feasible but expensive," Mehr News Agency reported.

Earlier in September, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said the ministry is studying plans to supply water from the Persian Gulf to three eastern Iranian provinces, which will help address the nationwide drought and water shortage that have particularly affected the eastern regions.

Such water supply plans to quench the country's water-stressed regions, however, are considered costly and harmful to the environment.

Meidani added that to implement such projects, major seismic studies should be conducted in three phases.

"If zoning studies and ultra-deep drillings bear positive results, Iranian experts will be employed to extract water," he said.

Mohammad Haj-Rasouliha, an adviser to Chitchian, had earlier announced the start of feasibility studies on drawing water from deep layers in Sistan-Baluchestan, Khorasan Razavi and Yazd provinces.

"These strategic groundwater resources take thousands of years to replenish, thus they should only be exploited in special cases and with great care," he said.

The UN has labeled the water crisis as Iran’s “most important human security challenge in the coming decades”.

Perpetual drought has brought with it a significant decline in rainfall that has resulted in a 6-billion-cubic-meter drop in the average water level of reservoirs.

Iran uses 90% of its renewable water resources, while the global average is 40%. Officials say the amount of water drawn from groundwater sources needs to drop from 55 billion cubic meters to 26.5 billion cubic meters per year to avoid a catastrophe.

Similar studies have been conducted in the Libyan Desert and the Amazon Jungle, which resulted in discoveries of remarkable water reserves, Haj-Rasouliha claimed.

"In Iran, however, systematic surveys are yet to be carried out," he said, excluding accidental discoveries of drinking water while drilling in depths of over 500 meters by the National Iranian Steel Company.

According to official data, 10 provinces suffer from severe water shortage, while 23 provinces have experienced significant reduction in rainfall compared to previous years.