People, Environment

Rain Gives Fars Wetlands a Break

Rain Gives Fars Wetlands a BreakRain Gives Fars Wetlands a Break

Unexpectedly high precipitation in the past three months has helped breathe new life into several wetlands in Fars Province which were on the verge of total desiccation due to constant drought.

Speaking to IRNA, Hamzeh Valavi, head of the provincial office of the Department of Environment, said he is cautiously optimistic about the future of the wetlands.

“The Iran Meteorological Organization has forecast more rainfall, so we’re going to see further improvements in the state of the lagoons,” he said.

Fars’ two important lakes, Maharloo and Bakhtegan, have also received some respite thanks to the rainfall.

“Maharloo was in such bad state that sinkholes had begun to form in the lakebed,” he said.

Tashk, Hiram and Haft Barm are other lakes that have significantly benefitted from the rains.

Fars Province, which was once a top agricultural hub boasting abundant water reserves, now barely has enough water to meet basic household needs as a result of long periods of drought and excessive withdrawal of groundwater reserves through thousands of legal and illegal water wells.

Fars has the largest number of salt- and fresh-water wetlands; however, declining precipitation, combined with years of mismanagement and prolonged drought has caused great damage to the lagoons.