Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Head of Iran's Health Ministry's Office for Occupational and Environmental Health, Kazem Naddafi says that over 2,000 hectares of the farms across the country is irrigated with wastewater.
The official said that the main portion of the cultivated area which is irrigated with wastewater is located in Tehran, Iran's Shahrvand newspaper reported on Aug. 5.
Some Iranian experts say that the real figure of the wastewater use for agricultural land is several times more than the unveiled figure.
Shahrvand quoted former official of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization, Soroush Modabberi as saying about 2,000 hectares of farms are irrigated with wastewater in Tehran's southern districts. The method is popular not only in agricultural lands surrounding the country's metropolitan areas, but even in small towns.
The wastewater used for irrigation on farms has different types of heavy metals and organic contaminants including cobalt, nickel and arsenic. These pollutants are toxic to human health, Modabberi said, adding that for example arsenic causes kidney diseases and chromium creates diseases of the respiratory system, even some of these pollutants are carcinogenic.
In most arid and semiarid regions of the world, including Iran, scarcity of water is one of the main problems on the path to sustainable agriculture. Due to water restrictions and increased water consumption, using low quality water resources including wastewater is considered a solution to decrease agricultural water requirements.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that 20 million hectares globally, an area that is nearly equivalent to 7 percent of the total irrigated land in the world are irrigated with wastewater or polluted water.
Edited by CN