Tehran: Water supply declining fast: Iranian official

Water supply declining fast: Iranian official

IranMania News, Iran
Aug 16 2005

LONDON, August 16 (IranMania) – A senior water industry official said
that Iran?s population will reach 100 mln in the next two decades,
when the country will face serious shortage of fresh water, according
to Iran Daily.

Speaking at the ceremony to inaugurate Nahrain Tabas Dam, Reza
Ardakanian, deputy energy minister for water affairs, said the
country?s entire exploitable water resources is estimated at 130
billion cubic meters.

?If consumption grows at the current rate, Iran will need 140 bln cubic
meters a year to supply fresh water to its 100-million population in
the next 20 years,? he said, adding that the country would need an
effective water management system to tackle the huge rise in demand.

Ardakanian said the economic value of water is increasing day by day,
adding that the agro sector development also depends much on water
resources.

?If water is offered free of charge, plans to optimize water
consumption will get nowhere,? he said, stressing, however, that the
government will have to continue to allocate huge subsidies for agro
water due to the farmers inability to pay.

The government has tried in recent year to construct more dams,
bring surface and border waters under control and discourage overuse
of water in urban areas. However water consumption is still too high
in the semi-arid Iran.

Iran is currently cooperating with neighboring countries, namely
Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia in the water sector.

In the past 26 years, Iran has invested 250 trillion rials in the
water industry. Some 52 dams have been constructed nationwide during
the tenure of former president Mohammad Khatami who took office in
May 1997.

Iranian engineers constructed 80 percent of the Friendship Dam on
a river shared with Turkmenistan and are ready to implement water
projects in Afghanistan, with which Iran shares the key Hirmand River.

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