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Majority of Iranians have to migrate if water crisis persists, official says

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 If the water shortage crisis in the country persists, around 70% of Iranians or a population close to 50 million will have to leave to survive, a deputy of Hassan Rouhani says.

Isa Kalantari referred to the deteriorating condition of water shortage in the country and the weak management and said: “The present water crisis in Iran began some 10 years ago. By using around 97% of its surface water almost all rivers have dried up.”

“This means that if we continue as is, around 70% of the population or 50 million people will have to leave the country. The renewable water in the country is 100 billion cubic meters per year. Our ill management has resulted in the drying up of ponds and wasting surface and sub-surface waters,

IRNA state-run news agency reported: As the number of dams has grown by 30 folds and we have failed to protect the nonrenewable waters, we have lost something like 75% to 80% of our water. If this trend continues, in 3-4 years we will have rationing of water in all cities and access of citizens to water will become limited.

An environmental expert told this news agency: “The water crisis has led to new problems such as people who have become homeless due to the lack of water. Many think that the water crisis may be solved by handing management of water resources to the private sector. But our main problem is that we don’t have the needed legislation and as long as these shortcomings are not remedied, the private sector won’t be able to help either.”

Another expert added, “If people are not using water correctly, the mismanagement of water is the main cause. For 3000 years our people knew how to use water and be at equilibrium with Mother Nature. The amount of rainfall in the past 30 years is not much different from the 30 years before that, but mismanagement or water resources has easily destroyed 3000 years of our heritage in using water and is not challenging our society and culture.”