Russians to Help Find Groundwater

Russians to Help Find Groundwater
Russians to Help Find Groundwater

A Iran continues to grapple with acute water shortages leaning on crisis, it has signed an agreement with Russia to explore some of Iran’s desert regions for new groundwater resources.

Aside from sharing expertise and knowledge in the field, the Russians will invest around $250 million in the project, a senior energy official said Wednesday.

“We need to conduct geophysical surveys before we can start drilling,” Rahim Meidani, deputy for water affairs at the Energy Ministry, told ISNA.

He said even though Iran is in a position to explore for groundwater on its own, “it makes sense to (also) use the experience of other countries to make rapid progress.”

Iran lacks the modern equipment to conduct groundwater exploration, but Russia is reportedly well equipped for the task.

“Close collaboration with Russia will ensure quick results,” Meidani noted.

Provinces in which groundwater exploration will take place have been prioritized by the ministry. The first round, expected in two phases, will be undertaken in South Khorasan, Kerman and Sistan-Baluchestan provinces.

The ministry is of the opinion that there are between 1.5 and 2 billion cubic meters of undiscovered groundwater in the country.

Given the high cost of the project, groundwater should be used only for drinking and industrial purposes, Meidani noted.

While discovering more water, especially renewable sources, can help mitigate the looming water crisis, experts in increasing numbers believe Iran’s problem is not lack of water. It is mismanagement and sheer lack of responsibility and accountability.

  Water From the Moon!

“The most pressing issue that needs to be addressed is mismanagement. Even if we end up importing water from the Moon, we will again end up in the same mess as long as we continue to poorly manage water,” Isa Kalantari, a former agriculture minister and senior advisor to First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri on water affairs, was quoted as saying by the Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz in May.

Located in of the most arid regions of the planet, Iran’s annual rainfall is a third of the global average.

According to data from the ministry, the average Iranian uses 250 liters of water per day, while daily consumption in metropolises such as Tehran may exceed 400 liters. That means Iran’s water usage is twice the world standard.

Unsustainable agriculture is another culprit. Wasteful farming practices going back ages gobble 90% of Iran’s water, with a mere 35% efficiency which pales in comparison to the 70% in the developed world.

The consensus among experts, however, is that gross mismanagement, more than any other factor, is at the root of the problem. Rapid development and haphazard expansion of infrastructure with minimal regard for their long-term impact have created irreversible harm.