Watershed Management: A Possible Solution to Water Crisis

Watershed Management: A Possible Solution to Water CrisisWatershed Management: A Possible Solution to Water Crisis

Every hectare under watershed management produces 520 cubic meters of water, said Forest, Range and Watershed Management Organization’s deputy for watershed management.

Parviz Garshasbi added that about 27 million hectares of lands have undergone watershed management and 130 million more hectares need to be covered.

“Watershed management technologies are useful solutions to drought, which are usually overlooked. Techniques such as flood dispersal, aquifer management and revival of natural resources in a watershed area can help reinforce groundwater resources,” Garshasbi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Garshasbi cited years of mismanagement and inefficient policies as the root cause of Iran’s worsening water shortage.

“Given Iran’s location, we must implement successful water management models used in countries with similar climate, and not of European countries,” he said.

He said dam construction projects in Gilan Province that had no environmental assessment is an example of mismanagement, noting that more than 50% of Sefidroud Dam is filled with sediments.

Built in 1958, the dam’s water level has consistently declined.

The official pointed to the desiccation of wetlands, which have become major sources of dust storms, as another example of negligence and said 300,000 hectares of desert have formed around Urmia Lake in West Azarbaijan Province.

Garshasbi said climate change has exacerbated environmental problems such as drought and dust storms, calling for measures to curb their spread.

He said early warning systems must be established to warn people of impending dust storms, while overhauling water policies and making farming practices more efficient.

“Doing away with water-intensive crops in favor of those more suited to the Iranian climate can also help alleviate the problem,” he said.