People, Environment

Desiccation of Fars Wetlands Surveyed

Desiccation of Fars Wetlands SurveyedDesiccation of Fars Wetlands Surveyed

Excessive withdrawal of water from wetlands is the main cause of the desiccation of Fars Province’s wetlands, including Maharlou, Bakhtegan and Parishan.

The above statement was made by Mohsen Soleimani Rouzbahani, the head of Iran’s Wetlands Project, in a workshop to familiarize governors of the province with sustainable approaches to ecosystem management.

The workshop was held in Fars Province with a focus on making unified plans for the recovery and management of the provincial wetlands, IRNA reported.

“Wetlands are desperate for attention. A new approach and effective sustainable development strategies concerning projects in the wetlands’ catchments are necessary to help revive the drying lagoons,” he said.

Fars has the largest number of salt- and fresh-water wetlands, which give conservationists the incentive to protect the province’s lagoons.

“That is why we’ve been cooperating with NGOs and government bodies since 2006 to protect Parishan using eco-friendly management strategies,” he said.

Rouzbahani called on provincial officials to help expand this approach to other wetlands in Fars and said their commitment to restoring and protecting wetlands is imperative for the success of the plan.

  Combating Water Theft

Prevention illegal water withdrawal will help combat water shortage and revive wetlands, for which provincial water officials will soon implement a plan to fight unauthorized water withdrawal from rivers.

Quoting Goudarz Alidoust of Fars Regional Water Authority, Tasnim News Agency reported that the plan targets four seasonal rivers around the provincial capital Shiraz.

Declining precipitation, combined with years of mismanagement and prolonged drought, has forced residents of Shiraz suburbs to tap into rivers to meet their water needs.

“Despite repeated warnings, people still continue to take water from the rivers, but this will change,” Alidoust said.

“The plan aims to crack down on locals who use pumps and dig canals to transfer water to their estates.”

Alidoust said unless swift action is taken, the rivers of Shabshotori, Qalat, Guyom and Qasr-Qomshe risk complete desiccation.