Protests against water scarcity and government distribution policies continued for a fourth successive day in Shahr-e Kord, 100km west of Esfahan.

Shahr-e Kord is provincial capital of Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, a traditionally water-rich region in the Zagros mountains, has seen its water resources decline in recent years due to both drought and projects that shift water to arid regions.

Protests began November 20, following demonstrations against lack of water in the city of Esfahan, where thousands of residents demanded water be supplied to the Zayandeh Roud river, which has been dry for most of the last ten years.

As the government promised solutions to people in Esfahan, residents in neighboring Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari took to the streets in fear their water would be diverted. Drought across the Middle East in recent years has encouraged conflict and tension between nations and between communities over access to water.

The Iranian government has encouraged water-intensive industries to be built in Yazd, east of Esfahan, diverting Zayandeh-Roud water, leaving tens of thousands of farmers with inadequate irrigation.

Days ago, the government appointed a Revolutionary Guards general as governor of Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, following similar appointments in recent weeks elsewhere. Some protesters Wednesday attacked the new provincial governor as a servant of central authorities.

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