People, Environment

Shiraz Losing Water Due to Dilapidated Network

Shiraz Losing Water Due to Dilapidated NetworkShiraz Losing Water Due to Dilapidated Network

Over 25% of drinking water are wasted in Shiraz, Fars Province, due to its dilapidated and inefficient water network, the chief executive of the provincial Water and Sewage Company said.

"Rusty water pipes and illegal tapping of the water network drain the city of the precious resource, affecting both residents and the local economy," Allahbakhsh Nazarpour was also quoted as saying by IRIB News.

"It is imperative that we upgrade the water network and bring it up to standard."

Nazarpour said Shiraz has the highest quality of potable water in the country.

"About 77% of our water are supplied from 182 water wells and the rest is sourced from Doroudzan Dam (located 85 km north of Shiraz)," he said.

Located in Iran's arid southern region, Fars Province has been grappling with drought for years. Declining precipitation, inefficient farming practices and excessive industrial and household water consumption have only served to exacerbate the problem.

In Shiraz, a metropolis of about 2 million people, per capita daily water consumption is around 130 liters.

"This is while the average per capita water use in times of crisis is between 50 and 70 liters," Nazarpour said.

He said 100 kilometers of the water network in Shiraz will be repaired or upgraded by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2018).

The project will cost at least 400 billion rials (over $10 million) in the first phase.

Shiraz's predicament reflects the entire country's struggle with water shortage. Experts say if water consumption patterns do not change in the near future, many parts of the country will turn into barren desert while entire towns and villages will become uninhabitable.  

Iran has been struggling with water shortage for so long that those in their early twenties do not recall a time when the country did not suffer from the scarcity of this precious resource.

Water officials are pinning hopes on watershed management schemes in the province to help store water. The schemes so far cover 1.7 million hectares, but lack of funding has suspended plans to cover 3.8 million hectares.


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