Photos by Hamidreza Dastjerdi, ISNA
When all else fails, turn to God -- The people of the farming town of Varzaneh gathered on Friday January 16 to pray for rain. Like other countries in the region, Iran has been dealing with severe drought and water shortages in the last few years. Many farmers have lost their jobs or are on the verge of doing so. -- Will God hear the people of Varzaneh?
According to Iran's Department of the Environment, the agricultural sector uses 93 percent of Iranian water resources, but its yield does not justify that level of consumption. Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has called for an overhaul of planting and irrigation models.
Iran's Ministry of Agriculture announced that beginning in October 2014, the water allotted to agricultural developments will be reduced by almost 50 percent in accordance with a proposal by the Department of Environment. According to a top ministry official, the plan is meant to counter the country's critical water shortage which has impacted over 10 of the major cities including the capital Tehran.
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