People, Environment

“Save Water Week” Begins Amid Severe Shortage

“Save Water Week” Begins  Amid Severe Shortage“Save Water Week” Begins  Amid Severe Shortage

The first week of summer, beginning June 22, is known as “Save Water Week” in Iran. Given the country’s severe water shortage, scorching heat, perennial drought and unsustainable farming practices, saving water must not be confined to only one week —it needs to be religiously practiced year-round.

Head of the Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization, Esmaeil Najjar, has repeatedly said 520 cities in Iran have limited potable water, according to a report published in the Persian daily Iran.

It seems, however, that the problem is worse than feared: Certain regions of the country have started to ration water—a measure to which officials had warned months ago Iranians might have to resort.

Eleven villages in Khomein County, Markazi Province, have begun rationing water, according to Khomein Governor Seyyed Mehdi Sadati, and he fears more villages may have to begin the practice soon. The cities of Fasa and Qatrouyeh in Fars Province have also been forced to ration water in recent weeks.

Reza Zarei, head of the Research Department at the Water Resources Management Company, says 10 provinces suffer from severe water-tension, while 23 provinces have experienced significant reduction in rainfall compared to previous years—that is 75% of the country.

It is an undeniable fact that climate change, drought and being located in the world’s most water-stressed region have taken a serious toll on Iran’s water resources, but that does not justify the overuse of water. To stave off a severe crisis, stringent measures must be taken—even if those measures may not please most. As the old cliché goes, sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better.