People, Environment

Groundwater Conservation Reportedly on Track

Groundwater Conservation Reportedly on TrackGroundwater Conservation Reportedly on Track

The Energy Ministry, which has reportedly made restoring and balancing groundwater resources a priority, aims to cut groundwater loss by a billion cubic meters during the current fiscal year that started in March.

“Our target last year was 500 million cubic meters, but we managed to save 700 million cubic meters of the precious resource, thanks to effective measures,” said Mohammad Haj-Rasouliha, director of Iran Water Resources Management Company, ISNA reported.  

Measures included stopping the drilling of unauthorized wells and sealing off existing ones.

The official said he hopes the ministry can continue building on its success last year, but admitted that “things keep getting tougher.”

The measures are aimed at restoring the country’s groundwater resources by 2025, with the ministry hoping to be able to balance water consumption and supply by then.

Haj-Rasouliha urged the public to do their fair share as the ministry “alone cannot shoulder the task.”

There are over 170,000 known illegal wells across the country. Some estimates put the number close to 400,000. Technological advancement and easy access to digging equipment have facilitated well digging.

Iran has exhausted more than 75% of its water resources, well above the limit of 40%, leading to the water crisis about which environmentalist and officials talk on a regular basis.

Due to a variety of factors, including drought, declining rainfall and climate change, Iran’s renewable water resources have declined by 25% — from 130 billion cubic meters to less than 100 billion cubic meters. The agriculture sector guzzles more than 90% of the water due largely to inefficient irrigation and unsustainable farming practices, while home consumption accounts for 8.5% and industries 1.5% of the rapidly dwindling resource.