Inter-basin transfer last solution to water shortage: environment official

August 22, 2016

TEHRAN — Inter-basin transfer must be the last resort to solve water shortage, the deputy for marine environment of the Department of Environment (DoE) said on Sunday.

Inter-basin transfer didn’t prove to be effective in other countries either and DoE must be approved of this scheme otherwise it is impossible to implement it, Parvin Farshchi told a press conference, IRNA news agency reported.

It is true that the country is facing water shortage that is caused by mismanagement over the past two or three decades, but it is mandatory to try all other alternatives such as recycling and reforming irrigation patterns before jumping to such a hasty decision without putting much thought into it, Farshchi warned.

“After going over all other viable options and in case we make sure that we are left with no other choices other than inter-basin transfer we can discuss it with ensuring its environmental compliance,” she noted.

“We haven’t reached any convincing conclusion about transferring water from Caspian Sea to the Semnan Province and studies to prove its effectiveness are still ongoing,” she added.

Although in some rare cases such as transferring water from Sea of Oman to Hormozgan Province it is not problematic but depending on the ecological properties of an area such as Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf it is not recommended, she explained.

Farshchi went on to say that sea level change and Hircanian forests are of the impediments to water transfer from Caspian Sea and as the sea is an enclosed inland body of water depleting it may threaten its future as well.

“Studies to decide the effectiveness of transferring water from Persian Gulf are still ongoing and we need more time to decide whether it is possible or not,” she added.

Inter-basin transfer or trans-basin diversion are terms used to describe man-made conveyance schemes which move water from one river basin where it is available, to another basin where water is less available or could be utilized better for human development. The purpose of such designed schemes can be to alleviate water shortages in the receiving basin, to generate electricity, or both.

Environmental annex to sixth development plan

Elsewhere in her remarks, Farshchi commented on the sixth five-year development plan (2016-2021) since some have criticized it as not being environment oriented enough stated that an environmental annex will be added to the document to ensure its eco-friendly application.

 Iran seeking compensation for environmental damages

Farshchi also expressed hope that Iran would finally succeed in receiving compensation for the environmental losses inflicted upon Iran on international level particularly on the seas by forming a working group.

The working group would meet for the first time next week, she said, adding, “If we want to obtain compensation we need to monitor the situation closely and well document it.”


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