SHAFAQNA – More than 500 Iranian cities are struggling with drinking water shortage, an immediate result of low precipitation in Iran, a deputy minister of interior says.
“520 cities in the country are facing the crisis of drinking water shortage,” Esmaeil Najjar, who is also had of Crisis Management Organization, said.
“Over the past two decades, the scourge of drought has struck our country,” he said, adding that Iran lies on an “arid belt” on Earth.
Iran’s Energy Ministry – which is in charge of regulating the water sector – announced recently that about 60 percent of the reservoirs of major dams are already empty. The ministry further said there has been a decrease of 16 percent in inflow of water into dam reservoirs from the start of autumn.
Officials blame Iran’s water crisis on the changing climate and frequent droughts. However, they have also warned that careless consumption is already deteriorating the situation.
Experts believe that a proper management of water supplies is what Iran needs to end its water crisis. For example, an efficient mechanism is required to reduce consumption of water resources in agricultural sector – which stands at about 90 percent of total water supplies – and instead allocate a larger share to residential and even industrial sectors.
“The biggest problem of all is the massive inefficiency inside Iran’s agricultural sector, which uses more than 92% of the country’s total water supplies,” the analyst Roozbeh Aliabadi recently wrote for the Press TV website.
“The country’s most important lakes and rivers are drying up at a frightening rate as climate change, poor infrastructure, shortsighted policies and a skyrocketing population send the country into crisis,” he wrote.