Drought threatens water safety in Tehran
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 29
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Drought threatens health of water in Iran 's capital city, Tehran, said Mehdi Chamran, the chairman of Tehran City Council.
"This is a fact, because some 47 percent of water for the city is extracted from wells. The more the drought situation is worsened, the more the threat of higher nitrate content of water will be," Iran 's Fars news agency quoted Chamran as saying April 29.
"Last September, it was rumored that water in Tehran was unhealthy, he said, adding that at that time 2-3 wells had been contaminated, but the Ministry of Health sealed the wells," Chamran said.
Certainly the Ministry of Health will not allow water with nitrate content of higher than 50 to be consumed by people, he added.
Some 500 million liters is held in reservoirs around Tehran, but it is not sufficient. Some 1,000 million liters is needed for the city, he noted.
In moderate amounts, nitrate is a harmless constituent of food and water. Due to its high mobility, nitrate also can leach into groundwater. If people drink water high in nitrate, it may cause illness.
Iran's Energy Minister Hamid Reza Chitchian has said the situation of water resources in Iran has passed beyond a critical point.
"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.
Edited by CN