People, Environment

Iran Water Consumption Unsustainable

Iran Water Consumption UnsustainableIran Water Consumption Unsustainable

Iran's annual water consumption tops 97 billion cubic meters, while the country only has 88 bcu of renewable sources, according to a former agriculture minister.

"That means our annual water consumption is 110%, whereas it should be closer to 40% of our available water per year," Isa Kalantari, director of the Urmia Lake Restoration Project and an environmental advisor to First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri, told reporters on Wednesday, Mehr News Agency reported.

Pointing to the dire conditions of Iran's groundwater resources and country's deepening water debt, he said groundwater withdrawal reaches 61 bcu a year, whereas only 29 bcu of it are replenished.

Illegal water wells, which number 170,000, have emerged as a major problem for the water authorities across the country trying to curb the high extraction and consumption rates, namely in the key agricultural regions. In spite of all warnings, excessive withdrawal of water from aquifers continues in the agriculture sector to produce products that—more often than not—bring in so little revenue that it can hardly be called justified or profitable.

More than 90% of the country’s water resources are used up by unsustainable and wasteful farming practices.

Experts predict that the country’s water scarcity will hit crisis level by 2025, when available renewable water will be less than 1,000 cubic meters per capita, down from 2,000 cubic meters in 1950.


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