National document drafted for water management, environment protection

March 12, 2021 - 16:56

TEHRAN – A national document for preserving water resources, managing drought, and soil erosion, and protecting the environment has been drafted by the vice president’s office for science and technology.

Optimization of water consumption, protection of the environment, management of sand and dust storms (SDSs), and reduction of pollutants in water, air, and soil are the four main themes of the document, IRNA reported.

According to estimates, 16.4 tons of soil erodes in Iran per hectare, which is more than three times the global average. A total of 2 billion tons of soil erosion occurs in Iran annually, and the volume has been on the rise in recent years due to heavy floods.

Each ton of soil is valued at $28 in terms of metal ores, so the loss of two billion tons of soil annually means the annual loss of $56 billion, which is more than revenues from the sale of oil and agricultural products, gardens, livestock, poultry, and fisheries.

The soil conservation law was ratified by Guardian Council in June 2019, which has been passed by the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) in February 2020.

Meanwhile, according to the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), 11 percent of the Iranians are affected by mild drought, 21.5 percent of whom also are under pressure of moderate drought; while severe drought is exerting pressure on 32.5 percent of the people.

The country has been repeatedly exposed to sand and dust storms due to its presence in the arid and semi-arid part of the world, so that in 2006-2007, the dust storms originating in Iraq and Syria affected Iran, haunting a wide area of the country so that it reached the central areas and southern slopes of Alborz and also included Tehran.

Over the past three years, the government has spent about $370 million from the National Development Fund on fighting sand and dust storms, 

MG

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