Press TV- Iran says it is considering a plan to reduce the water supplies that are consumed in farms and industrial plants and instead divert them to the urban sector – a move that highlights concerns in Tehran over the implications of an unfolding water crisis in the country.
Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian was quoted by the domestic media as saying that the “water allocation plan” is meant to address “the lack of enough water supplies in the country”.
Chitchian emphasized that Iran needed to change the laws to improve the efficiency of water consumption management across the country.
This, he added, is specifically necessary to help confront the new legal challenges that have emerged over water consumption issues.
“The new laws should resolve the disputes between the upstream and the downstream sectors of the water industry and should protect the interests of the present and the future generations among other issues,” Chitchian added.
The Iranian minister further said that Iran’s recoverable water resources have declined from 130 billion cubic meters to 90 billion cubic meters, what he said indicated a decline of about 45 percent.
“The issue of water is not merely a technical one,” he said. “There are many social, economic and environmental aspects to it that altogether affect the lives of the citizens. Therefore, we need to be more sensitive about the policies that we devise for the water sector”.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Chitchian said that the decline in water supplies of Iran is not only a result of lower rainfalls. Rather, he added, other factors like the climate change and population growth are also involved.
Chitchian had earlier announced that Iran is in a critical situation in terms of its water resources.
To the same effect, Iran’s Energy Ministry – which is in charge of regulating the water sector – had earlier warned that above 500 cities of the country are struggling with the shortage of drinking water.
Officials blame Iran’s water crisis on the changing climate and frequent droughts. However, they have also warned that reckless consumption is already deteriorating the situation.
Iran’s media last week highlighted concerns that Iran will have an arid year in 2017 as a result of historically low rainfalls.
Tasnim news agency in a report last Wednesday said the average rainfalls in the country dropped this autumn by 74 percent compared to last year.
This was the highest drop the country had seen for the past 47 years, Tasnim added.
The report further emphasized that water reservoirs of Iran’s dams during autumn had dropped by above 50 percent compared to last year.
“If the conditions remain like this throughout winter, Iran will face severe problems over its drinking water during the next [Persian calendar] year,” Tasnim warned.
Iran’s calendar year begins on 21 March 2017.
Sattar Mahmoudi, Iran’s deputy energy minister, was recently quoted by media as saying that the country was working on a project to look for water from underground resources.
Mahmoudi added that the project envisaged looking for underground water resources as deep as 2,000 meters, stressing that the country will use Russia’s help for this.