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While the mean annual precipitation of planet Earth is 860 mm, it is only about 240 mm in Iran.
While the mean annual precipitation of planet Earth is 860 mm, it is only about 240 mm in Iran.

Water Crisis Getting Worse

Environmentalists and economic experts have often warned that water shortage in Iran has reached crisis point, posing a “serious threat to the country’s security, economy and public health”
Mismanagement of water resources, including multiple damming projects on major rivers, both in Iran and the neighboring countries, have made a bad situation worse by altering the natural water flow

Water Crisis Getting Worse

Dwindling water resources and lack of sufficient fresh water is fast reaching a catastrophic level in Iran. First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said last week the country is facing a very serious water deficit and if present consumption patterns continue water will have to be imported from other countries.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a water treatment plant in south Tehran, he said: “We are considering implementation of water desalination projects to transfer water from the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea to drought-hit regions, “Mehr News Agency reported.
In his usual frank and outspoken manner, he said, “We may even be forced to import fresh water.”
Environmentalists and economic experts have often warned that water shortage in Iran has reached crisis point, posing a “serious threat to the country’s security, economy and public health.”
While the mean annual precipitation of planet Earth is 860 mm, it is only about 240 mm in Iran, which comprises 1.1% of the continental areas. About 90% of the total precipitation is reported in the cold and humid seasons and in northern and western parts of the country, and only 10% in warm and dry seasons and in central, southern and eastern regions.
But, as is always mentioned by independent experts and academia, it is not only  high consumption, climate change and drought that have created the water disaster. Mismanagement of water resources, including multiple damming projects on major rivers, both in Iran and the neighboring countries, have made a bad situation worse by altering the natural water flow.
In July a ‘Water Security Committee’ was set up in the Majlis (parliament) to review pressing issues related to dam building in neighboring countries that have a negative impact on Iran and its water needs.
In recent years, Turkey has built several dams on the Tigris and Euphrates, drastically reducing water supply to the Hammar Marsh (in Iraq) and Hoor al-Azim Wetland (near the Iran-Iraq border).

  Wetlands, Rivers Drying Up
Construction of dams in Afghanistan is another problem. Prior to the construction of dams on Hirmand River, nine billion cubic meters of water flowed into the Hamoun Wetlands but now it has declined to hardly 800 million cubic meters. Drying up of the wetlands and rivers has contributed terribly to the formation of dust and sand storms in Iran and some neighboring countries over the past decades.
In response to the vice president’s warnings, experts say importing water should be viewed as a last resort after improving measures to curb high consumption/depletion and reforming the management system(s) related to this precious natural resource.  Anoosh Esfandiari, a researcher at the Water Policy Research Institution, in an interview with the Persian newspaper ‘Sharq’ suggested that those in charge need to concentrate on reducing consumption rather than talk about water import.
“We must focus on balancing demand and supply and adapt to the available water resources. Importing water will hurl all these efforts off balance.” Eminent economist Mousa Ghaninejad says the government’s dysfunctional agriculture and water policies in the not too distant past have “brought us to where we are today in terms of the water deficit.”
“Government intervention is not the solution to the problem of Iran’s economy…because interference itself is a problem. The government’s flawed agriculture and water management policies, like subsidizing water, have given rise to the water crisis today,” he wrote in an editorial published in the Persian-language Donya-e-Eqtesad on Sunday.

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