Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 12
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian administration has decided to allocate at least $2 billion every year to deal with water shortage crisis in the country, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said.
For current fiscal year (started on March 21) the budget is allocated which will be spent on the issue, Rouhani said, Iran's IRINN State TV reported on Aug. 12.
He went on to add that the administration will continue the policy in the next years to resolve the water crisis in the country.
Iran is located in an arid zone, Rouhani said, adding there is no hope for wet period in the next years and the country faces a serous water shortage crisis.
The drought of 1992-2002 caused a major blow to agriculture. There were quotas imposed for fresh water in several cities, including the capital Tehran.
Hamidreza Janbaz, an Advisor to Iranian energy minister, said that currently 517 cities are struggling with water shortage across the country.
"At present, a special program is being worked out to solve the water shortage problem in the next three years," he added.
"A drought has been observed in the country for nearly 13 years," Janbaz said.
Earlier Iranian media outlets quoted energy minister, Hamid Reza Chitchian as saying that the situation of water resources in Iran has passed beyond the critical condition.
"At present, 96 billion cubic meters of the country's total 120 billion cubic meters of renewable water resources are being consumed annually," he said, adding that if 40-60 percent of renewable water resources are consumed in any country, that country is said to be in a critical condition.
Iran's total annual water consumption is approximately 93 billion cubic meters, out of which about 92 percent is used in agriculture (86 billion cubic meters), 6.6 percent in municipality (6.18 billion cubic meters), and 1.2 percent in industry (1.12 billion cubic meters), according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO).
Up to 70 percent of water used in the agriculture sector is being wasted, Iranian officials say.