Source: Tehran Times
Iran has shelved a project for transferring water from the Caspian Sea to central parts of the country. The manager of the project, Mohammad Rahbari, told the Mehr News Agency on Sunday that the energy minister has ordered all the related works to be halted.
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 and a volume of 78,200 km3. It is in an endorheic basin (it has no outflows) and is bounded to the north by Russia, to the south by Iran, western Azerbaijan, and eastern Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
Last April, Iran announced a plan to transfer water from the Caspian Sea to central regions of the country, with the goal of providing central provinces with water for industrial and agricultural usages.
The plan, which was launched during the incumbency of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was aimed at transferring some 500 million cubic meters of water from the Caspian Sea per annum.
A shortage of rainfall, especially in the central, eastern, and southeastern parts of Iran, has led to a scarcity of drinking and irrigation water.
However, in December 2013, the Mehr News Agency quoted Iranian deputy energy minister Sattar Mahmoudi as saying that Iran has finished preliminary studies for transferring water from the Caspian Sea to inland.
Iran's environment protection organization official Abdolreza Karbasi sad in October 2013 that transferring water from the Caspian Sea to the central desert of Iran will lead to an ecological disaster.
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