People, Environment

600 Illegal Water Wells Sealed in Alborz Last Year

600 Illegal Water Wells Sealed in Alborz Last Year600 Illegal Water Wells Sealed in Alborz Last Year

Some 600 illegal water wells in Alborz Province were sealed in the last Iranian year (March 2016-17), according to the province's governor general.

In line with the current government's policies for addressing the worsening water crisis, the sealing of illegal wells and imposing limits on withdrawal from legal wells were among important measures taken to help conserve groundwater in the past year, IRNA reported.

The closure of illegal wells helps save a large volume of water from going to waste. However, according to Seyyed Hamid Tahaei, there is a long way to go before reaching an ideal situation, as there are over 12,000 illegal water wells throughout the province.

Injudicious use of groundwater reserves through both legal and illegal wells is a major contributor to Iran's struggle with water shortage.

"Managing abandoned mines and farmlands, especially in Savojbolagh County, are on the agenda for the new year (started March 21)," said the official.

Illegal water wells, which number 170,000 throughout the country, have emerged as a major problem for the water authorities trying to curb the high extraction and consumption rates, namely in 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 can hardly be called justified.

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