For years, water management in Iran has become one of the main challenges that the government faces, and the population is suffering from it.
Water scarcity is the result of two mechanisms: physical water scarcity and economic water scarcity, where physical water scarcity is a result of inadequate natural water resources to supply a region’s demand, and economic water scarcity is a result of poor management of the sufficient available water resources.
But in Iran the main cause of water scarcity is due to the prioritization of economic development. The main economic entities are in the hands of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and by its wasteful dam constructions mainly with the goal of military use, it is wasting the water resources.
In any country, based on a proper plan, according to natural resources such as water, population and capabilities, rational policymaking should be formulated and implemented in national development plans. But in Iran this has not received enough attention.
For example, to address a country’s water challenges, these solutions are included, ‘education and awareness’, ‘use of new technologies’, ‘wastewater reuse’, ‘upgrading irrigation systems to prevent water losses in agriculture’, ‘rationalizing water prices’, ‘use of efficient water desalination systems’, ‘use of rainwater’, ‘attracting public participation and inter-organizational coordination’, ‘review of policies and regulations’, and ‘integrated management and attention to the ecosystem.’
But none of these have been implemented by Iran’s government over the past 40 years. And every year increasingly the country is facing a severe lack of water.
Water rationing in Karaj has begun as the first critical metropolis. Shahin Pak Rouh, Deputy Minister of Energy, said: “In 2021, more than 12 metropolises are faced with a water supply crisis. The metropolis of Arak, Isfahan, Bandar Abbas, Tehran, Shiraz, Qazvin, Qom, Karaj, Kerman, Mashhad, Hamedan, and Yazd are facing with a water supply crisis in summer, from which water rationing in Karaj began as the first critical metropolis.”
He claimed: “This action is looking for drought problems, reduced rainfall and dehydration in the country.” He introduced the people as the main culprits and added: “If people don’t stop over-consumption and fail to save at least 10 percent of drinking water, with an intensification of heat the scope of problems will increase.”
Mohammad Reza Janbaz, director of water and sewage, said that, it is expected that the number of cities suffering in the summer of 2021 increases compared to the previous year. Last year, the number of cities suffered from water crisis reached 225 cities.”
After 42 years, the Iranian government is still unable to provide potable water resources for people. Every year, people in the heat season are faced with water rationing.