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No Glad Tidings for Water Shortage

The recent snow in Iran does not compensate for the lack of rainfall in previous months
Precipitation declined by 60% in Iran compared to the long-term average. Precipitation declined by 60% in Iran compared to the long-term average.

The recent snow was a sparkle of hope for Iranians to balance water supplies, but a senior meteorological official has announced that it is not a sign of recovery from the prevailing water crisis.

This autumn and winter saw below normal levels of precipitation and official have been warning about a very dry summer and the need to manage water consumption.

Shahrokh Fateh, the head of the National Center for Drought and Crisis Management at Iran's Meteorological Organization, said the recent precipitation is normal for this period of the year and will not make up for the low autumn rainfall, ISNA reported.

"Continual and above-normal levels of precipitation are needed over the coming months to compensate for the below-normal precipitation in the past months," he said.

"The heavy snowfall over the past two days must not be exaggerated as a sign that the crisis has ended and constant attention toward limited water resources is necessary."

Iran has experienced a very dry autumn and winter this year.

Since the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2017) up until Jan. 27, the country has received 40 millimeters of rain while the long-term average is 101 mm, indicating a 60% drop.

Compared to the previous year when the level of precipitation reached 63.5 mm, there has been a 37% decline.

The province of Tehran received 22 mm of rain in this period, which is 78% lower than the long-term average of 103 mm and 77% lower compared with the same period of last year when rainfall reached 96 mm.

The figures show that the country lags far behind the desirable level of precipitation.

Temperatures across the country are also a warning sign of an imminent drought. Over the past four months, all the provinces experienced a rise in average temperature.

"The entire country was 1.1° Celsius warmer compared to the long-term average," Fateh said.

"In the Iranian month ending Jan. 20, the rise was even more significant, as the temperature was 2.8° Celsius warmer than the long-term figure."

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