A grand but faulty vision for Iran’s water problems

Massive water transfer schemes are no solution to Iran’s growing problems with drought

A grand vision of eliminating water scarcity looks attractive for tens of millions of people in the desert cities of central Iran worried about drought. Ambitious water transfer projects are being put in place to answer a call from President Hassan Rouhani.

Two high-profile projects would see desalinised water transferred to the central plateau from the Caspian Sea, and from the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman.

Mohammadreza Khabbaz, governor of Semnan, a province sandwiched between the lush Caspian Sea coastline and the central salt desert, is a staunch supporter of the Caspian Sea water transfer project as a “permanent” solution.

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This article was written by Ali Mirchi & Kaveh Madani  for The Guardian on May 9, 2016. Ali Mirchi is a research assistant professor at the Department of Civil Engineering and the Center for Environmental Resource Management at the University of Texas at El Paso. Kaveh Madani is a senior lecturer in environmental management at the Centre for Environmental Policy of Imperial College London.