People, Environment

Water for Khuzestan’s Anti-Desertification Schemes

Water for Khuzestan’s Anti-Desertification SchemesWater for Khuzestan’s Anti-Desertification Schemes

The Energy Ministry has promised to supply water required for anti-desertification projects in Khuzestan, as the oil-rich province struggles with severe drought and sandstorms.

“Any amount of water that the Agriculture Ministry needs for planting saplings in the province is and will be supplied completely,” Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

This is while the director of Khuzestan’s Meteorology Organization has described the province’s drought conditions as being worst in the entire country.

“Khuzestan is facing a drought much worse than that of other provinces, including Yazd,” Kourosh Bahadori also told the official website of the organization.

The level of precipitation in Khuzestan registered a 30% drop (115 mm) from the beginning of the current water year (started Sept. 22, 2016) until April 3, as compared to the same period of last year.

Weather stations show that except for Gotvand, rainfall has dropped below normal levels in all cities of Khuzestan in that period.

“During the rainiest period of the year in February and March, even northern areas of Khuzestan (that normally enjoy more rainfall) like Dezful and Izeh experienced little precipitation,” Bahadori said.

What’s worse, temperatures in western Iran have begun to rise earlier than normal, making things harder on Khuzestan.

Pointing out that no considerable rainfall is expected before mid-May, the official suggested that policies related to water use be made in accordance with the amount of precipitation.

The oil-rich province of Khuzestan has become a major source of dust storm due to a prolonged drought and desiccation of wetlands. Projects to plant saplings across dried fields are among measures to combat desertification and stabilize the soil to prevent dust storms.

The supply of water for the project, however, was discussed, in view of the dry conditions of the province. The energy minister did not give details on how the water will be supplied. 

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