People, Environment

DOE Wants Better Monitoring of Agricultural Irrigation

DOE Wants Better Monitoring of Agricultural IrrigationDOE Wants Better Monitoring of Agricultural Irrigation

Tehran’s Department of Environment has called on the Ministry of Agriculture and the Water and Wastewater Company to ramp up their monitoring of farmlands in southern Tehran as part of efforts to crack down on wastewater irrigation.

According to official data, more than 30% of farmlands in the area are irrigated with untreated wastewater.

Based on an earlier report by PANA, some 7.5 hectares of farmlands irrigated with urban and industrial wastewater in southern Tehran Province have been destroyed by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Farmers are willing to use wastewater for irrigation because it is more convenient and cheaper, even though water in Iran is one of the most heavily subsidized commodities.

The problem is exacerbated due to Tehran’s unfinished wastewater network, which means wastewater from industrial units are easily accessible as they are dumped in the open or in streams.

Speaking to ISNA, Mohammad Hossein Bazgir, head of the Tehran office of DOE said it is necessary to treat wastewater before it is used for irrigation of farms.

“Furthermore, urban and industrial sewage must be separated from farmland water ways and this will be more readily done when the city’s wastewater network project is completed,” he added, without elaborating.

The use of wastewater for irrigating crops can lead to accumulation of pathogens and toxic substances such as heavy metals in food produce and their transmission to humans when consumed.

This has been found to cause many diseases, including different kinds of cancer.

Wastewater use can also result in underground aquifer contamination.