Government Should Seriously Address Water Shortage Crisis

July 7, 2001 - 0:0
Iran and many other countries are currently suffering serious water shortages due to drought and climatic changes.

Iran is facing its third consecutive year of serious drought. Experts believe that the future may be worse.

The drought could spark trouble and even threaten national security. Many experts have said that the wars of the future will be over water.

Trouble broke out in Isfahan recently over the serious water shortage.

According to media reports, residents of Isfahan held a gathering Sunday to protest the water shortage. As generally happens, the demonstration began peacefully, but turned violent later after some people began blocking off streets and burning tires. They also broke the windows of the Water and Sewage Company building. The police arrested 44 people.

According to the Persian language daily *** Iran***, the protestors also broke the windows of the Tejarat Bank and the Melli Bank and vandalized telephone booths. One should not view these demonstrations as isolated incidents. These were serious expressions of the people's frustration with the government's failure to address the problem.

It is really amazing that the government has still not adopted a comprehensive plan to solve the problems caused by the drought.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf announced the implementation of a water rationing program in which each region of Iran would have its water supply cut for 12 hours.

Of course, the minister cannot solve the problem by himself. It will take time. But, if desalination plants would have been built during the first year of the drought, then the water shortage problem would have been solved or at least greatly reduced.

According to official figures, eight provinces of Iran, with a population of over 25 million people, are facing water shortage problems.

The water shortage should not be taken lightly. People recently became very angry when they heard that there is a plan for Iran to export water to Kuwait.

The minister of energy should revise the water rationing plan. Perhaps water should be cut twice a day, for a shorter period of time, instead of once for 12 hours.

Also, desalination plants must be built as soon as possible, since it cannot be predicted when the drought will end.