Tehran, Iran, May 4
By Milad Fashtami - Trend:
Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian once again warned about the water shortage crisis in the country.
"The situation of water resources in Iran has passed beyond the critical condition," he said, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on May 4.
Chitchian went on to note that during the past decade, precipitations in Iran have declined from 250 millimetres to 242 millimetres
"Water shortage is a real challenge for the whole world in this millennium," he said.
The minister made the remarks at a Majlis (parliament) session.
Chitchian said on April 27 that the Energy Ministry has formed a special committee a couple of months ago in order to monitor the water crisis and take appropriate decisions, Iran's Mehr news agency reported.
"At present, 96 billion cubic meters of the country's total 120 billion cubic meters of renewable water resources is being consumed annually," he said, adding that if 40-60 percent of renewable water resources is consumed in any country, that country is said to be in a critical condition.
The water shortage has reached a critical level in Tabriz, Isfahan, Khuzestan, Qum, Mashhad and Hamadan provinces, an advisor to Iran's Energy Minister, Hamidrza Janbaz, said on Nov.17, Mehr agency reported.
"Currently a special program is being worked out in order to solve the water shortage problem in the next three years," he explained.
"A drought has being 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 repeatedly faced 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.