Transporting water from Caspian to destroy up to 700 hectares of Hyrcanian forests
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 19
By Elnur Baghishov - Trend:
Up to 700 hectares of the Hyrcanian forests must be destroyed to get water from the Caspian Sea to the Central Iranian Plateau, an expert on water related issues Esmail Kahrom said, Trend reports via Mehr News Agency.
However, the forests are 3-3.5 million years old, according to the expert.
Kahrom added that according to the project on the transportation of water from the Caspian Sea, 150 million cubic meters of water per year should be used in the industrial sector and 200 million cubic meters of water should be provided as drinking water.
"The cost of desalinating the Caspian Sea water will undoubtedly be very high and citizens are not able to pay for it," the expert said.
The expert added that the salt obtained after desalination will be returned to the Caspian Sea.
If this process continues, salt levels in the Caspian will increase, which could seriously damage aquatic ecosystems, Kahrom said.
The expert added that if the sea's fish are damaged, there will be problems in the fishing industry.
Moreover, if the salinity of the sea is too high, neighboring Caspian littoral countries will complain, the expert said.
The Iranian government is studying a project to transport desalinated water from the Caspian Sea to the Central Iranian Plateau, mainly to Semnan province. In recent days, 40 members of the Iranian parliament have sent a letter to the Iranian president protesting the bill. Some environmental activists and some authorities in Iran oppose the project.