Farmers work in a field as smoke from an oil refinery rises in the background, in Tehran, Iran June 3, 2021.

Iran Faces Continued Water Shortages

Wednesday, 03/13/2024

Ali Reza Shahidi, the head of Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration of Iran, has issued a warning regarding the country's water resources.

He stated that Iran is expected to face water shortages until at least 2040. Shahidi emphasized that “400 out of 608 plains in Iran are situated within the red zone of subsidence, prohibiting any extraction of water from them.”

Moreover, Shahidi highlighted that the hot and dry conditions prevailing in the country are projected to persist until 2030 amid global warming.

The announcement comes amidst Iran's ongoing struggle with one of its most severe droughts in over fifty years, marking the fourth consecutive year of water scarcity.

The dire situation has led to widespread criticism of the Iranian government's environmental management practices. Reports indicate that a quarter of Iran's farmers have lost their livelihoods in the past seven years, primarily due to water scarcity. Beyond economic impacts, the drought has led to soil erosion, desertification, and dust storms affecting nearly half of Iran's population, according to the country's health ministry.

Criticism of the Iranian government's environmental policies has intensified, particularly in light of the arrest and imprisonment of several Iranian environmentalists in 2018 on charges of espionage for the US and UK governments.

The situation is having dire effects on the country's farmers, around a quarter of whom have lost their livelihood as a result of the drought in the last seven years alone.

Environmental impacts have since included soil erosion, desertification, and hazardous dust storms that affect approximately half of Iran's population, according to the country's health ministry.

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