Iran not to ration drinking water, minister says


Tehran, Iran, Jul. 4

By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

Iran doesn't plan to ration drinking water in summer.

Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian that any cut in water flow would be related to maintenance, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported on July 3.

The country is currently experiencing a severe water shortage.

Chitchian advised the citizens to cut their water consumption rate by 20 percent in order to prevent any water cut.

It is while previous reports suggest that the country's energy ministry has started rationing water.

Arak, Esfahan, Bandar Abbas, Tehran, Shiraz, Qazvin, Qom, Karaj, Kerman, Mash'had, Hamedan, and Yazd are the major cities which are expected to face severe water shortage in summer.

Iran has already started water rationing in Karaj city, Iran's TASNIM News Agency reported on June 25.

Energy ministry officials say that by cutting consumption by 20-30 percent, the country will face no difficulty in distributing enough water across the country.

Iran's rationing water in Karaj comes as the country's President Hasan Rouhani previously ordered the energy ministry to avoid water rationing.

Hamidreza Janbaz, an Advisor to Iranian energy minister, said that currently 517 cities are struggling with water shortage across the country, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported on June 23.

Janbaz, however, said that the energy ministry will face no difficulty in providing enough water to the country.

"We plan to send water to 6,000 villages with tankers," he said.

On February 19, Donya-ye Eqtesad daily quoted Chitchian as saying that the situation of water resources in Iran has passed beyond the critical condition.

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, advisor to Iran's Energy Minister, Hamidrza Janbaz said on Nov.17.

Currently a special programme is being worked out in order to solve the water shortage problem in the next three years, according to Janbaz.

"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 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

Iran's drinking water consumption rate is expected to reach 10 billion cubic meters in the Iranian calendar year of 1420 (to start on March 21, 2041).

The country's population is expected to reach 103 million people in the mentioned year, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported on June 30.

Iran will face difficulty in providing the mentioned amount of drinking water, unless it improves its infrastructure. The country's water consumption rate currently stands at 6 billion cubic meters.

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