Water Shortage Grave as Precipitation Declines

Water Shortage Grave  as Precipitation DeclinesWater Shortage Grave  as Precipitation Declines

Located in one of the most arid regions in the world, Iran has an annual average precipitation rate approximately one-third of the global average. Due to less rainfall and snow in the current calendar year (ends March 20), officials have voiced concerns over the fear of drought next summer (starts May 22).

General director of planning at Iran’s Water Resources Management Company, Yaghub Hemmati said hydrological drought in the country is prominent as a result of more than 35% reduction (or half) of the surface water in the long-term, while meteorological drought in catchment areas of the Persian Gulf, Oman Sea, Central Plateau and Eastern borders can be attributed to more than 35% precipitation decrease compared to the long-term average. “Iran lacks sufficient water resources,” he said, quoted by ISNA.

Pointing to the rainfall records, he said the national average is 87 mm for the current water year (Sept 23, 2013-Sept 22, 2014) while the figure stands at 119 mm for the previous year. In fact, the rainfall decreased 27% compared to the previous year and 26% compared to the long-term rainfall record. Snow cover has also decreased by 20% compared to the previous year.


Although precipitation rates in the Caspian Sea and Lake Urumia are satisfactory with an increase of respectively 29% and 30% rainfall compared to the long-term, other water basins namely Central Plateau and the Eastern basins experienced a noticeable decrease (respectively 36% and 39%), Hemmati said, adding: “Sarakhs catchment has been normal in terms of long-term precipitation.”

Noting that vital statistics of 30 sub-basins portray a clear picture of rainfall decline, he said unfortunately, 24 sub-basins had a decrease in precipitation compared to the long-term average confirming that drought is looming across the country.

Considering the 21% reduction in the amount of water entry into dams compared to the last year, Hemmati said on average, “41% of the capacities of dams are water-loaded, and more than 87 dams contain less volume of water.”

In general, to ease the water crisis, water efficiency should be implemented, he stressed. Hoping that spring rainfall would compensate for insufficient precipitation in the previous water year, he urged people to optimize water use.