Environmental official warns of water waste in Iran

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-13 20:27:18|Editor: Song Lifang
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TEHRAN, July 13 (Xinhua) -- A senior Iranian environmental official said that some 27 billion cubic meters of water is squandered away in Iran every year, Financial Tribune daily reported on Thursday.

Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran's vice president and head of environmental protection organization, said that correcting consumption patterns in agriculture and industries is the only surefire way to reduce water loss.

Meanwhile, up to 170,000 illegal water wells have emerged as a major challenge for the government, which is pushing for rational agricultural practices.

About 92 percent of the country's water resources are reportedly used up by unsustainable and wasteful farming and irrigating practices.

Iran's annual water consumption tops 97 billion cubic meters, while the country only has 88 billion cubic meters of renewable sources, said Isa Kalantari, the former agriculture minister.

Further reports also blamed the water crisis in Iran on excessive damming of rivers, drought and climate change.

Moreover, low water prices encourage wasteful consumption, while some farmers and organizations have been accused of stealing water supplies for their own benefits.

Experts predict that Iran's water scarcity will hit crisis level by 2025, when available renewable water will be less than 1,000 cubic meters per capita, down from 2,000 cubic meters in 1950.

The World Resources Institute ranked Iran as the world's 24th most water-stressed nation, putting it at extremely high risk of future water scarcity.