Iran energy minister warns about land subsidence in Tehran

Business Materials 19 November 2014 13:08 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.19

By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

Iranian energy minister has warned about excessive use of underground water, which could lead to land subsidence in Tehran.

Addressing a conference on water resources management, Hamid Chitchian said the ministry is planning to develop practical approaches to resolve the high water consumption problem, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on November 19.

He referred to high per capita water consumption and the old water supply network as the main problems in large cities of the country.

Based on the sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2015-2020) the use of underground water resources should be reduced by 11 billion cubic meters.

Iran is located in an arid zone and the country faces a serious water shortage crisis. The drought of 1992-2002 caused a major blow to agriculture. There were quotas imposed for fresh water in several cities, including the capital Tehran.

Hamidreza Janbaz, an Advisor to Iranian energy minister, said that currently 517 cities are struggling with water shortage across the country.

"At present, a special program is being worked out to solve the water shortage problem in the next three years," he added. "A drought has been observed in the country for nearly 13 years."

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).