Tehran Faces Water Rationing Unless Usage Drops

Via Bloomberg, a report on Iran’s water crisis:

Iran may be forced to impose water rationing in Tehran should the capital’s residents fail to cut consumption by about 20 percent, Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said.

Water rationing is under consideration in part as levels of reservoirs outside Tehran have fallen due to a sharp decline in rainfall this year, Chitchian told reporters after a Cabinet meeting yesterday, according to the Tehran Times newspaper.

His comments follow those by President Hassan Rouhani, who this week called for a national water-conservation plan to address Iran’s “historic” water shortage. Overuse of city tap water should be curbed, the farm industry must become more efficient and use irrigation, and protecting underground sources and preventing illegal drilling of wells is needed, said Rouhani, who took office in August.

Iran, holder of the fourth-largest proven oil reserves whose population has grown to 77 million amid recent dry spells, will struggle to meet its water needs in coming years, the Ankara-based Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies’ Water Research Programme said in a July report.

Chitchian said at least 100 billion cubic meters of water have been extracted from strategic underground waters in recent years, causing wells in farmlands to turn salty, the Tehran-based paper said. About 12 million people reside in the Tehran metropolitan area.

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