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Iran Oblivious to Water Crisis

Iran Oblivious to Water CrisisIran Oblivious to Water Crisis

Iran must begin preparations for a water-scarce future, as strict water management strategies are not enforced to curb overconsumption of this rare resource, according to a former agriculture minister.

"People and even some government entities must accept the severity of our water problems," said Isa Kalantari, who is also the director of Urmia Lake Restoration Project and an environmental advisor to First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri.

Severity of the water shortage in Iran has not yet dawned on the general public. Even most government authorities had not acknowledged the depth of the problem until only recently. Negligence and carelessness now has Iran facing hard times.

"As long as people remain oblivious, consumption patterns will not change," he was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Kalantari blamed Iran's lax approach to the worsening water shortage on the Energy Ministry's policies, which do not paint a realistic picture of the country's struggle.

"The ministry understates the current water crisis. As long as that is the case, nobody will feel the pressure to make changes," he said.

The official stressed that Iran's annual water consumption tops 97 billion cubic meters, while the country only has 88 bcu of renewable sources.

"That means our annual water consumption is 110%, whereas it should be closer to 40% of our available water per year," he said.

Environmentalists, social scientists and the cross-section of academia and media have for years appealed to the masses to cut water consumption and called on officials to undertake meaningful reforms, but to no avail.

There is a strong consensus that 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.


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