Iran may allocate $120 mln special budget to deal with water shortage crisis
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 28
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran may allocate $120 million special budget to deal with its water shortage crisis.
Hamidrza Janbaz, advisor to Iran's energy minister, said President Hassan Rouhani has proposed that a special budget be allocated in addition to the budget which is regularly allocated by the national budget, Iran's Fars news agency reported on May 28.
Janbaz added that the special budget will help implement water supply projects to the cities which are experiencing a critical water shortage situation.
USD official exchange rate in Iran is currently about 25,550 rials.
On Nov. 17, Janbaz said water shortages have reached a critical level in Tabriz, Isfahan, Khuzestan, Qum, Mashhad and Hamadan provinces.
Currently a special program is being worked out in order 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. The demand for water increases with population growth," Janbaz said.
Iran is located in an arid zone and the country has been repeatedly faced with drought in the past 40 years.
The drought of 1992-2002 caused a major blow to agriculture. There were quotas imposed for fresh water in several cities including Tehran.
On May 19, Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said water shortage has turned into a serious problem for the country. He added that renewable water reserves have decreased from 130 billion cubic meters to 120 billion cubic meters.