Iran to allocate 1% of oil export revenues to water management

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 20

By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

Iranian parliament approved a law that says Iran's government should allocate one percent of crude oil, natural gas and gas condensate exports revenues to water management projects.

According to the Shana News Agency report, the new law, which won approval on Nov.20, includes projects such as the desalination of sea water and transferring it to the country's central regions, management of border rivers, improvement of water transferring grids, increasing the irrigation efficiency and decreasing the water consumption in agriculture areas, building dams etc.

Approval of the new law came amid Iran facing crucial drought problems, threatening the water security of a large section of the country.

Iran is exporting a little more than 1.2 million barrels of oil and up to 25 million cubic meters of gas per day. This means the value of 1% of oil and gas revenues can be approximately 350 million dollars based on current oil and gas prices.

Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the administration has decided to allocate at least $2 billion every year to deal with the water shortage crisis in the country.

Earlier Iranian media outlets quoted Energy Minister, Hamid Reza Chitchian as saying that the situation of water resources in Iran has passed beyond 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.

You can follow him on Twitter @dalgakhatinoglu.

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