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Increasing Tariffs Key to  Effective Water Management
Increasing Tariffs Key to  Effective Water Management

Increasing Tariffs Key to Effective Water Management

While measures have been taken to upgrade infrastructure and address problems related to the water supply network, not much has been done to address the low tariffs
There is a strong consensus that if water consumption patterns do not change in the near future, many parts of the country will turn into barren desert

Increasing Tariffs Key to Effective Water Management

Without increasing tariffs, management of water consumption will remain elusive, an official at the National Water and Wastewater Company said.
Hamidreza Tashayoie, a deputy head of the company, said on Friday that as long as water tariffs remain low, Iran will struggle to curb consumption because low tariffs make installation of low-consumption sanitary fittings and controls redundant.
“When prices are low, people don’t see the need to invest in equipment that manages water use,” Tashayoie was quoted as saying by Mizan Online.
Consumers can purchase standard low-consumption fittings from the company and pay in installments, but there is no incentive to invest in such equipment because “paying the bill every month is cheaper than the installments”.
The official said measures have been taken in recent years to upgrade infrastructure and address problems related to the water supply network, but the one area that has been given no attention is water tariffs.
Some provinces, such as Tehran, are planning to impose fines on households with high water consumption to encourage residents to reduce their water use and help mitigate the effects of water shortage.
Last year, the Energy Ministry increased water tariffs by 20%. However, water tariffs are currently not considered high for the low and average consumer groups.

  Civilization at Risk
Located in one of the world’s most water-stressed regions, Iran’s rainfall is a third of the global average which, combined with injudicious consumption, waste and climate change, has inflicted 16 years of relentless drought on the country of 80 million people.
Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian warned last month that unless water policies are overhauled and excessive consumption and waste checked, “Iranian civilization would be at risk”.
The agriculture sector gobbles up more than 90% of Iran’s scarce water resources, while the average Iranian uses 250 liters of water per day. In metropolises such as Tehran and Isfahan, it can even go up to 350 liters per day—three times the global average.
Official reports say nearly 5,000 villages across the country are struggling with varying degrees of water scarcity. Published reports have said thousands of villages are now abandoned due to the water crisis.
Environmentalists, social scientists and the cross-section of academia and media have for years appealed to the masses to cut water consumption and called on officials to undertake meaningful reforms. But given the ground reality and worsening water situation, their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.
There is a strong consensus that if water consumption patterns do not change in the near future, many parts of the country will turn into barren desert while entire towns and villages will be consigned to history books.

 

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