Water Crisis Threatens Iranian Civilization

Water Crisis Threatens Iranian CivilizationWater Crisis Threatens Iranian Civilization

Iran's top energy official has warned that unless water policies are overhauled and excessive consumption and waste checked, Iranian civilization would be at risk.

A keynote speaker at the National Conference on Water Economics in Tehran on Tuesday, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said, "For the sake of sustainable development … we must curb our water use," Nameh News reported.

"In order to sustain life and our civilization, we (all relevant bodies) have to come together and offer a (workable) solution. Consumption patterns must change."

In a rare public admission, Chitchian, whose ministry is rather infamous for its affinity toward dam construction, said despite building so many dams, "we still haven't been able to supply everyone with water."

Official reports say nearly 5,000 villages across the country are struggling with varying degrees of water scarcity. Published reports have said thousands of villages are now inhabited due to the water crisis.

To his credit, the minister is one of a handful of public officials who have openly called Iran's continued struggle with water shortage a huge crisis and repeatedly called on the powerhouses to help his ministry address the monumental problem.

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 given the ground reality and worsening water situation, their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

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 be consigned to history books.

For more on the water conference please see page 5.