Iranian official warns of vanishing underground water resources
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 21
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
An official with Iran's Energy Ministry Yousef Rezapour has warned of vanishing underground water resources if underground waters are used at the current level.
Rezapour said that the use of underground water resources in Iran is several times more than the average consumption in the world, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on Dec. 21.
In Iranian calendar year 1383 (March 2014-March 2015), some 6 billion cubic meters of water was taken more than the standardized level from underground resources, he said, adding that the figure reached 11 billion cubic meters in the current year.
Some 57 billion cubic meters of water was used from underground resources over the past ten years, he noted.
The situation of water is critical in 298 plains from a total of 600 plains across the country, he said.
In September, Mohammad Hajirasouliha, head of Iran's Water Resources Management Company said that the country has launched studies for extracting water from deep underground reservoirs.
He said that the mentioned reservoirs are strategic and may be used only in certain circumstances.
Iran is located in an arid zone and the country faces a serious 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.
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.