Adding to the lists of countries around the world with drought and water problems.
Perhaps we should ask – who doesn’t?
Iran faced with deadly water crisis
According to official figures the reservoirs of Iran are only forty percent complete. And nine cities which include the capital of Iran, Tehran are threatened with water restrictions after an unusually dry winter.
25 March, 2015
Many of the major water bodies located near the regions including the Zayanderud Lake and Orumiyeh Lake have dried up. Just to let you imagine how troubling that is the size of Lake Orumiyeh is close to one hundred and forty five kilometers in length and forty eight kilometers wide, and it is the salt lake closest to Iran’s northwest border with Turkey, now imagine this huge area that was filled to the brim with water now almost empty.
Even the city of Isfahan (which is one of the most beautiful places in Iran with its wonderful palaces, Bridges, mosques and boulevards) through which runs the Zayanderud River has become dry as a husk.
The disappearance of this water is mostly due to mismanagement and overuse rather than a drought, it is stored at Zayandeh Roud dam and
diverted through the dam for domestic and industrial consumption leaving the city’s eleven river bridges standing as a symbol of what is missing.
The sheer damage caused by this self-inflicted drought has been immense, analysts say that tens of thousands of hectares of farmland have been turned into a desert. More than five hundred trees have died over the past four years and the land has subsided as a result of draining groundwater supplies, in some areas as much as by one meter, laying waste to the cities historical sites.
Some officials from the regime have admitted that mismanagement has been the main issue rather than the drought, saying “mismanagement has been far more damaging than the drought” was Aliahmad Keikha the deputy head of the state run department for environment. He also mentioned that “we could cope with the drought if there was a more efficient management.”
Isfahan’s dilemma is just one of the many areas affected by the water crisis in Iran. It is also a matter of emergency in Sistan-Baluchistan where a Sunni minority is living in towns and villages that border Pakistan and Afghanistan. Only fifteen years ago Hamoun was the seventh largest wetland in the planet, with 4000 kilometers involving Iran and Afghanistan with water rolling in from the latter’s Helmand river.
To shed light on how big an issue this may become in the near future a statement from Issa Kalantari a former agriculture minister in the 1990s said last year “Iran with its seven thousand years of history will not be livable in twenty years’ time if the rapid and exponential destruction of groundwater resources continues.” He also added that this issue poses a bigger threat to Iran rather than its nuclear crisis.
As everyone knows water is an essential necessity for sustaining life in any environment, and the drought in Iran will not only affect its citizens but also its environment as a whole including the wildlife and forests.