Iran May Import Water From Tajikistan To Avert Crisis

Via Bloomberg, a report that Iran may import water from Tajikistan to avert a crisis:

Iran is considering importing water from neighboring Tajikistan as the government allocated emergency funds to help avert a supply crisis in the capital Tehran.

Iranian officials discussed the possibility of importing water during a trip to Tajikistan this month, the state-run Mehr news agency reported without giving specifics, citing the energy minister, Hamid Chitchian.

Iran’s cabinet has made 300 billion rials ($11 million) available to the energy ministry to accelerate the “emergency supply of water to Tehran,” said Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, vice president for planning and strategic supervision, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. That will help Iran complete a water-treatment plant and a link from Mamlou dam 45 kilometers (28 miles) east of Tehran, IRNA said.

The latest responses are taking place days after the government, backing up months of warnings to Tehran residents to reduce water use, enacted temporary cuts to those identified as excessive consumers.

Tehran’s water is fed from reservoirs including the Lar and Taleghan dams and wells in the south of the city, Chitchian said. Given reduced rainfall and supply strains, Tehran is now relying more heavily on wells, he said.

In a meeting yesterday, members of the government including the energy, agriculture and interior ministers reviewed options to enforce limits on Tehran residents’ water consumption by installing devices that restrict excessive use or by introducing higher rates for large users, Mehr said.

Iranian Usage

While a dozen major Iranian cities, including central Esfahan and southeastern Kerman, are prone to water shortages, the situation in the capital is dire. The city of 9 million represents 12 percent of the country’s population, with its residents consuming one-fourth of Iran’s drinking water, Chitchian said, according to Mehr.

The average Tehran resident uses 325 liters of water (86 gallons) per day, according to Chitchian.

In comparison, the average American uses about 575 liters of water per day — half of that for tasks such as watering lawns or washing cars, and the average European uses 250 liters of water a day, according to 2009 figures cited by the Circle of Blue group.

The issue of water shortage this year is “twice as severe” given the decrease in rain and low dam water levels, Eshagh Jahangiri, the first vice president, said in a separate Mehr report.

“Beyond emergency actions, Iran needs both short- and long-term plans,” Jahangiri said. “The more we waste time, the worse the situation will be.”

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