Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 10
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
An Iranian official says that the country has launched studies for extracting water from deep underground reservoirs.
Mohammad Hajirasouliha, head of Iran's Water Resources Management Company said that the mentioned reservoirs are strategic and may be used only in certain circumstances, the country's Mehr news agency reported Sept. 10.
Hajirasouliha explained that the deep underground reservoirs are renewable water reserves which were formed through thousands of years, in very deep areas under ground.Extracting water from the reservoirs should be undertaken sensitively, he added.
Three projects in Sistan and Baluchestan, Razavi Khorasan and Yazd provinces have been started to study the issue, Hajirasouliha said. The official noted that no systematic study was conducted in Iran earlier.
Previously in some excavations launched by National Iranian Steel Company, some limited water resources discovered in the depths of over 500 meters, he said, adding the mentioned reservoirs were not investigated in terms of origin, volume and discharge capacity.
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."
Earlier Iranian media outlets quoted energy minister, Hamid Reza Chitchian as saying that the situation of water resources in Iran has passed beyond the 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.