Drought, wasteful use lead to water crisis in Iran
Iran is currently facing a severe water crisis, with little hope for a resolution in the near future. In recent months, there has been a 25-billion cubic meter drop in waters entering the country’s three dams, which supply 60 percent of the county’s drinking water supply. Underground reserves have also declined by nearly 20 billion cubic meters. Currently, Iran’s overall renewable subterranean water sources stand at 130 billion cubic meters.
As a result, measures have been taken by the government to counter the adverse affects of the drought and to develop the country’s ill-maintained water systems. These include the constructions of special supply systems to the hardest hit regions, as well as an aggressive rationing system throughout the country.
Several causes for the crisis have been cited, the chief of which is the four-year dry spell, which seems to be only worsening now that the summer season has arrived. However, many believe that the issue is not one of mere natural causes, rather that of human errs.
Reza Manuchehri, deputy minister for urban water and sewage affairs, has claimed that nearly one third of Iran’s drinking water is wasted through inefficient distribution and consumption systems.
In the past, national water consumption in Iran stood at approximately 2,160 cubic meters, while today it is as high as 5,900 cubic meters. This figure is considerably higher than in most developed nations.
Furthermore, nearly 90 percent of the country’s water supply is used by the agricultural sector. Compared with other developed countries, which yield about two kilograms of produce for every cubic meter of water, Iran’s crops yield only half a kilo for the same amount of preciously scarce resource.
The current situation has been extremely damaging for the county, destroying nearly three million tons of wheat and barley last year, as well as one million heads of livestock. ― (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)