People, Environment

Yazd Water Salinity Increasing

Yazd Water Salinity Increasing
Yazd Water Salinity Increasing

The salinity of water resources in the arid province of Yazd is increasing due to manmade factors, the managing director of Yazd Regional Water Company said. 

Generally, the planet’s rising temperature leads to excessive evaporation in semi-enclosed body of water, which leads to hypersalinity. However, human activities aggravate the problem, ISNA reported. 

According to Mohammad Mehdi Javadianzadeh, urban development, excessive pumping of groundwater, rerouting rivers and streams, digging illegal wells, outdated farming methods and installation of desalination plants are among the main causes of water crisis and increased salinity of the precious resource in Yazd.

Desalination processes produce large quantities of brine, which is normally diluted before it is returned back to the water body it was retrieved from. The problem is that brine is denser than seawater and therefore sinks to the ocean bottom and can damage the ecosystem. Careful reintroduction can minimize the impact, but cannot entirely eliminate it.

Based on available data, "average rainfall has decreased from 100 millimeters to 89 millimeters during the past 29 years", Javadianzadeh said.

Yazd Province has been struggling with drought since 1999, with only a two-year respite in between. The long dry spell has wreaked havoc on the provincial villages. Aside from the above-mentioned factors, water-intensive industries in the province have only made a bad situation worse.

The provincial capital Yazd is believed to be the hottest city north of the Persian Gulf and is Iran’s driest metropolis. Prior to the advent of industrialization a few decades ago, residents of the parched province relied heavily on qanats to meet their daily water needs.

The country's nearly two-decade long struggle with drought, combined with high consumption and waste, has led to renewable water resources dropping to under 120 billion cubic meters. However, by some accounts, that figure is closer is 88 bcm.

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