Iran's Minister of Energy Habibollah Bitaraf Monday referred to lack of attention to water's inherent value and its economic status in the supply-and-demand cycle as the most significant problem facing the water sector.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Third International Water and Sewage Exhibition, he added that taking water for granted and ignoring its economic value in the agriculture sector can be detrimental in sustainable use of the limited sources of fresh water.
Turning to water shortage and lack of balance in rainfalls in time and place, he put the average annual rainfall at 250 MM, which is one third of the common figure worldwide.
"Half of the country's population living in northern and western Iran have access to 70 percent of the domestic water resources, while 50 percent residing in central, eastern and southern Iran have just access to 30 percent of the national water supply.
"Growing population in the past 40 years accounts for the reduced per capita share of the irreparable water supply from 7,000 Cubic Meters to 2,000 Cubic Meters in recent years," he added, according to IRNA.
He noted that with the current growing rate of population, the national per capita water supply in the coming 20 years is inclined to reduce to 1,300 Cubic Meters, which shows the upcoming water shortage.
The minister referred to the measures implemented in the water sector in recent years and said that as a consequence some 95 Billion Cubic Meters of water has been treated and made available for consumption.
"Twenty seven major reservoir dams with an annual capacity of 6.3 Billion Cubic Meters established in the past seven years were financed by national funds, while the credits for establishment of 32 more similar dams with a capacity of 80 Million Cubic Meters were covered by provincial funds," he added. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )