People, Environment

Water Rationing Possibility

Water Rationing PossibilityWater Rationing Possibility

Despite this good rainfall in recent months, water may be rationed in the summer if consumption continues at the present unsustainable pace, Iran’s top energy official has warned.

“Abundant rainfall since the beginning of the current water year (September 23) has reduced the odds of having to resort to rationing water in the summer, but due to excessive consumption we’re not out of the woods, yet,” Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Some have called on the ministry to raise water tariffs in an effort to encourage more judicious use of the scarce resource, but the minister said there are no immediate plans to increase the rates.

Iran has experienced a 45% rise in precipitation compared to the previous year, and a 37% increase vis-à-vis the long-term average.

According to Energy Ministry data, Iranians use about 250 liters of water per day on average, while daily consumption in metropolises such as Tehran may exceed 400 liters per person. If the numbers are correct, Iran’s water usage is twice the world standard.

The minister said poor management of water resources is the main cause of the mounting  water crisis, a sentiment echoed by water experts and environmentalists for almost three decades. However, all pleas to correct the situation have fallen on deaf ears.

Iran’s water reserves have taken a huge hit over the years due to gross mismanagement, overconsumption and wasteful farming practices. Additionally, urbanization and the  population explosion over four decades have done nothing to alleviate the problem.

The country’s geography does not help either, being located in the world’s most water-stressed region. Considered a semi-arid country, Iran has been experiencing 15 years of drought, which has forced many rural folks —mostly farmers — to abandon their homes and move to larger cities in search of greener pastures.