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Water Shortage Arrives In Tehran: Khamenei Authorizes Use of 10 Billion Dollars

By Kaveh Ghoreishi (Source: Rooz Online)

Following reports of heightened shortage of water in Iran in recent months, a newly released report indicates that in addition to the 13 large cities that now have a water crisis at their hands, two major dams, Lar and Latian to east of and close to Tehran, have dried up compounding the problem. Officials are now talking about water rationing in the eastern part of Tehran. Addressing the problem, Iran’s vice-president recently warned that, “The issue would only get worse if more time was lost in addressing the issue.”

Lar reservoir serving Tehran is about dried up.
(source: Shahrvand daily)

The Latian Dam over the Jajrood river to the north East of Tehran, about 5 kilometers from the town of Jajrood, provides about 290 million cubic meters of water to the capital and along with Lar Dam and the Karaj Dam form the three sources of drinking water of the capital.

Last week, during a meeting of the supreme water council, vice president Ishaq Jahangiri said that the shortage of water had doubled in criticality this year. “The more time we lose, the situation will get only worse. Therefore in addition to immediate measures, we need short and long term planning to take effect,” he warned. These remarks came just a day after some media had reported the possibility of a water shortage in the eastern sections of Tehran.

The news agency of the judiciary branch of government reported that Hamid-Reza Janbaz, the CEO of the water and sewage engineering company on September 16 had warned, “With the drying up of the Latian and Lar water dams, if waters users continue to utilize water more than the normal records, water in this district (eastern Tehran) will be completely cut off. Should this happen, water will have to be provided from the west, the Mamloo Dam.”

Janbaz said that the one month notice to the residents of this part of Tehran to reduce their water consumption had ended and now water would be provided for only seven hours a day to those users who used more than 50 cubic meters of water during the utility cycle. This warning to limit the availability of water to the residents of this part of the capital came after the ministry of power issued a similar warning last week.

While water shortage is not a new phenomenon in Iran, some specialists have said that this issue has a 17 year history. A report last week indicated that this shortage is not confined to Tehran but to a total of 12 large cities in the country.

During the last few months a number of reports had warned that various Iranian cities faced a water shortage and were struggling with its consequences. Social networks in Iran had launched a virtual campaign to educate people to conserve on their water usage to avoid an extensive crisis.

Ali Reza Daemi had told KhabarOnline that water shortage was not a new issue but when this shortage hits the northern cities and towns, it indicates a more serious level because the northern part of Iran enjoys relatively good rainfall.

Water shortage is part of the world global warming issue, experts say, and many countries are now grappling with it.

In Iran an official from the environmental agency Ismail Kahram has mentioned some solutions to this shortage which includes changing the water the agricultural sector uses water for its needs.

cartoon by Salman Taheri, Shahrvand daily

The situation is so serious that vice-president Jahangiri announced that he had received instructions from ayatollah Khamenei to use 10 billion Dollars from the national development fund for developing water and soil projects. But officials seem to have been responding to what residents had been dealing with for quite a while.

This shortage had already impacted Iran’s agricultural sector. According to a senior advisor at the agricultural jihad ministry, from about a week’s time the share of water that farmers receive will be almost cut in half.

In provinces such as Kerman this water shortage has banned agricultural activities in some areas. According to Iran’s ISNA student news agency, this is only the beginning of a larger and deeper problem. It quoted a member of the energy committee of the Majlis to have said that 12 or 13 other provinces will be soon joining those provinces where agricultural activities will have to be curtailed because of water shortage. The larger consumer of water in Iran remains the agricultural sector.

... Payvand News - 09/22/14 ... --

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