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Renewed Opposition to Inter-Basin Water Transfer in Iran

diverting water from the Oman Sea or the Caspian to alleviate the water crisis in far-flung regions such as Sistan-Baluchestan and Semnan provinces are long-term and bound to lead to environmental disasters
Renewed Opposition to Inter-Basin Water Transfer Renewed Opposition to Inter-Basin Water Transfer

Despite the fact that inter-basin transfer of water to far-flung locations has long been seriously challenged in most countries, some policymakers in Iran persist in implementing the costly but hardly successful projects, the deputy agriculture minister for agronomy affairs said.
“Diverting water from the Caspian Sea in the north to Urmia Lake between East and West Azarbaijan provinces was on the Energy Ministry agenda in 2011. But it was scrapped on hold after lengthy talks with prominent international organizations namely the US Irrigation Association,” Abbas Keshavarz was quoted as saying by ISNA.
In 2011 when the lake’s water declined by 160 centimeters, the ministry decided to transfer 10 billion cubic meters of water from the Caspian Sea. This being a key concern, the Agriculture Ministry was ordered to consult with countries and organizations that had similar experience, one of which was the US Irrigation Association.
“After meetings were held, we came to this conclusion that inter-basin transfer was a wrong policy and would result in irreparable environmental loss. For this reason no such projects were undertaken (in the US) over the last 20 years,” he said.

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