‘Water transfer from Sea of Oman entails no considerable environmental risk’

February 5, 2019

TEHRAN – Transferring water from Sea of Oman to central drought-ridden provinces of the country, provided that the environmental requirements are met, will not poses threats to the environment, Issa Kalantari, the Department of Environment (DOE) chief has announced.

To provide the amount of water needed for the country, agriculture and industries, there is no choice but to use seawater, the incredible and abundant resources, now and in the future, Kalantari stated, IRNA reported on Monday.

He went on to say that Iran located in an arid and semi-arid area, is facing environmental problems including water shortage, sand and dust storms due to low precipitation amounts coupled with climate change.

“Renewable water resources have drastically decreased to less than 80 billion cubic meters from 132 billion cubic meters over the past 50 years, and 50 billion cubic meters water consumption rate have increased to 95 billion cubic meters,” he lamented.

He stated that the country’s water supply must be provided in any way, adding, while setting up a suitable place for desalination plants, taking into account all the standards for water transfer must be carefully inspected.

All environmental criteria and requirements for the construction of water desalination system must be employed, so that later no threats will be posed to aquatic and marine creatures, he further noted.

Chabahar and Konarak counties located in Sistan and Baluchestan province, are among the most important coastal areas capable of water transfer due to connection to ocean waters, so water must be transferred and desalinated from these areas as soon as possible, he highlighted.

Appreciating measures compatible with environmental standards taken in Chabahar county, he noted that all the development plans are permissible by the DOE as long as complying with environmental standards, not exposing risk to the environment.

Environmental risks caused by construction projects or development plans, can lead to depopulation of the regions as well as utilization of oil and gas resources in Asalouyeh city in Bushehr Province which caused major health problems for the residents, he concluded.

In May 2018, Parvin Farshchi deputy head of the DOE for marine affairs said that there is a strong possibility that we initiate the plan to transfer water from Sea of Oman to drought-ridden provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan, Hormozgan and Khorasan Razavi by the next [Iranian calendar] year (March 2019), ISNA reported.

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