People, Environment

Ultra-Deep Water Extraction Approved in Sistan-Baluchestan

Ultra-Deep Water Extraction Approved in Sistan-BaluchestanUltra-Deep Water Extraction Approved in Sistan-Baluchestan

Long debates on water drilling from a depth of 500-1,000 meters have finally ended with the government’s approval of the project in the southeastern water-stressed province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

According to the latest report by Persian-language newspaper Khorasan, the government has allocated 250 billion rials ($6.5 million) for the project.

Before the plan enters the operational phase, zoning studies and geophysical studies for digging wells should be undertaken. If the studies show positive results, experts will be employed to extract water from renewable water sources.  

In September 2015, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said the ministry is studying plans to supply water from the Persian Gulf to three eastern Iranian provinces, which will help address the nationwide drought and water shortage that have affected the eastern regions.

Chitchian believes such water supply plans would quench the thirst of the country’s water-stressed regions, though they are considered costly and harmful to the environment.

“These strategic groundwater resources take thousands of years to replenish, thus they should only be exploited in special cases and with great care,” he said.

According to the official, drilling each deepwater well requires $7.5 million annually.

Perpetual drought has been accompanied by a significant decline in rainfall that has resulted in a 6-billion-cubic-meter drop in the average water level of reservoirs.

Iran uses 90% of its renewable water resources, while the global average is 40%.

Officials say the amount of water drawn from groundwater sources needs to drop from 55 billion cubic meters to 26.5 billion cubic meters per year to avoid a crisis.

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