People, Environment

Special Funding to Curb Water Crisis

Special Funding to Curb Water Crisis
Special Funding to Curb Water Crisis

The energy ministry is set to receive a financial boost from the Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization (DMMO) to help fight the looming water crisis.

Speaking to ILNA, DMMO chief Esmaeil Najjar said, “The additional budget is supposed to help the ministry combat water crisis in crisis-hit provinces.

“A crisis is a problem that occurs out of the blue; yet, Iran has been dealing with drought for about 20 years. Can a perpetual problem be called a crisis?”

Mismanagement, more than any other factor, is the driving force of the country’s current predicament, he asserted.

“With 250 mm of annual precipitation, Iran is definitely in need of efficient water management.”

In meetings held by the energy ministry, interior ministry and DMMO, which is a division of the interior ministry, energy ministry officials asked for 160,000 billion rials ($4.8 billion).

“It was decided to form a working group to outline what needs to be done before the budget could be allocated,” he said.

The worsening water crisis has displaced half a million people in Iran, and number is expected to rise, should the country fail to curb the crisis.

According to Iran’s Meteorological Organization, average precipitation during the latest crop season has dropped by an alarming 7.3% compared to past seasons.

Researchers at the National Center for Climatology have warned that in 40 years, the Middle East, especially Iran, will experience one of its worst ever droughts that could last up to 30 years, Mehr News Agency reported.

According to Issa Kalantari, adviser to First Vice President Es’hagh Jahangiri on water issues, Iran exploits 97% of its surface water compared to the international benchmark of 40%, which points to a colossal water mismanagement.

In addition, the country’s outdated farming practices use 90% of Iran’s water resources, which raise questions over wasteful irrigation methods.

Experts have urged farmers to stop growing water-intensive crops, especially in areas where water shortage is prevalent.