More drought predicted for Iran over next 5 years

May 26, 2021 - 16:43

TEHRAN – According to the World Meteorological Organization's multiannual forecast, in the next five years, Iran’s average rainfall will decline by 75 percent, and the temperature rises by 50-75 percent compared to the long-term average.

According to the national center for drought and crisis management, since the beginning of the current water year (September 23, 2020), precipitation has declined by 41 percent compared to the long-term average and 53 percent compared to the same period last year.

None of the provinces of the country received above-normal rainfall during this period. The lowest rainfall occurred in Hormozgan, Sistan-Baluchestan, and Kerman provinces, being short of rain by 86, 82, and 65 percent, respectively.

In the next four months (June to September), the central and northwestern provinces will experience normal rainfall or lower than normal.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, over the next five years (2021-2025) the average rainfall is expected to be 75 percent lower than normal and the average temperature between 50 to 75 percent higher than the long-term average.

Accordingly, the adoption of national policies to adapt to low rainfall and reduce the consequences of drought is inevitable, and the Seventh Development Plan should be prepared on the basis of drought and climate change, Ahad Vazifeh, head of the national center for drought and crisis management said.

A large part of the country has been hit by severe drought during the past 12 months. Forecasts indicate that we will not have significant rainfall in the remaining months of the current water year, so that, we face severe to very severe drought in most parts of the country, he stated.

Watershed management: a solution

In April, Abolghasem Hosseinpour, director of flood control at Forests, Rangelands, and Watershed Management Organization, said that Iran will probably experience drought over the current [Iranian calendar] year (began on March 21), as only four provinces out of 31 provinces of the country received normal rainfall last year.

Given that Iran is an arid and semi-arid region, the rainfall rate is low, in other words, the fluctuations of rainfall vary significantly from year to year, he added.

Over the last two years, Iran was doused with rain which was unprecedented during the past 50 years, but last year, the country faced drought, which shows a 40 percent decrease in rainfall, he explained.

Watershed management is a solution to strengthen the ecosystem in the face of subsequent droughts by penetrating rainfall into the ground.

What would be the consequences?

Climate change is a fact that cannot be run over, whether the temperature raises over 2 or 6°C, natural incidents such as flooding, droughts, and severe storms are among the main consequences of climate change.

Moreover, water and food shortages, water-borne illnesses, cold or heat-related deaths will come up as the results of temperature variations; in tropical areas also the risk of floods will raise.

Heavy rain and other extreme weather events will become more frequent, which can lead to floods along with decreasing water quality, but also decreasing availability of water resources in some regions.

Climate change will also bring extreme wet and dry seasons, which mainly causes rainfall fluctuations and water scarcity; the same experience happened in the country this year, as torrential rain started on March 19 led to floods in at least 25 out of 31 provinces of Iran and caused extensive damages.

While there have been prolonged droughts nationwide in past recent years leaving people scrambling for water, then precipitation started since the current crop year (September 23, 2018), hitting the record highs and being so heavy that cities flood.

Based on the latest data published by the National Drought Warning and Monitoring Center, since the current crop year (September 23, 2018), precipitation in the country considerably increased to 312 from 159.3 millimeters in the previous water year, demonstrating a rise of 95.9 percent.

So, nations must take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the future, preventing the emissions peak, otherwise, they might not be able to breathe on the planet in the future, or migrate to other places if found.

The study may also come efficient when it comes to making the people aware of climate change impact in their own city, within their lifetime, to avoid experiencing an entirely new climate that is beyond human experience.


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