11m ha of plains require aquifer, watershed management

June 15, 2019 - 21:43

TEHRAN – Some 11 million hectares of the country’s plains need watershed and aquifer management plans, so they must be prepared in this regard, director of watershed management at Forests, Rangelands, and Watershed Management Organization has said.

Watershed management aims at the sustainable distribution of its resources and the process of creating and implementing plans, programs, and projects to sustain and enhance watershed functions that affect the plant, animal, and human communities within the watershed boundary. 

Features of watershed that agencies seek to manage include water supply, water quality, drainage, storm water runoff, water rights, and the overall planning and utilization of watersheds. Landowners, land use agencies, storm water management experts, environmental specialists, water use surveyors and communities all play an integral part in watershed management. 

The vision of the aquifer management is to identify and map aquifers at the micro level, to quantify the available groundwater resources, and to propose plans appropriate to the scale of demand and aquifer characteristics, and institutional arrangements for participatory management.

Over the past 10 years, the country experienced 11 millimeters of rainfall decline while evaporation rate increased by 54 millimeters, ISNA quoted Khoshroo Shahbazi as saying on Thursday.

He went on to add that this led to a reduction in groundwater level; one of the scientific solutions to offset this deficit is the implementation of watershed and aquifer plans, which must be conducted on over 11 million hectares of the plains across the country.

Last year, a total budget of $200 million from the National Development Fund earmarked for conducting watershed and aquifer management plans, through which some 6000 areas have undergone implementation nationwide, he explained.

He further highlighted that this year, a budget amounting to €150 million from the Fund will also be allocated in this regard.

Shahram Montaseri, director for Fars province’s forests, rangelands, and watershed management organization, for his part said that Fars was among the provinces undergone the highest number of aquifer management plans amounting to 35 projects worth 280 billion rials (around $6.6 million).

In the case of allocation of funds up to 8 trillion rials (about $190 million), we are capable of implementing watershed and aquifer management projects, he concluded.