Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Iran, suffering from drought that’s drying waterways and depleted groundwaters as its population grows, must draw up a national water-conservation plan to ensure supplies, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
Iran’s water shortage is an “historic” issue and can only be resolved through “national will,” Rouhani told top officials yesterday, the Tehran Times reported. Iran’s energy, agriculture, industries and interior ministers were at the meeting. Officials there also included the vice president for planning and strategic affairs and the chairwoman of the Environmental Protection Organization, the newspaper said.
Saving water in the farm industry through efficiencies including irrigation, curbing overuse of city tap water, protecting underground sources and preventing illegal drilling of wells must be addressed, Rouhani said.
Iran, with an expanding population of 77 million and recent dry spells, will struggle to meet its water needs in coming years, the Ankara-based Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies’ Water Research Programme said in a July report on its website. “Insufficient investment and mismanagement” have also created challenges for the sustainable control of water resources, the report said.
Iranian officials ratified directives yesterday that encourage the involvement of non-governmental organizations to conserve water resources and raise public awareness about its use, the Tehran-based paper said.
Rouhani, who started his term in August after eight years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presidency, has said he will seek to revive an economy battered by government mismanagement and international sanctions over the country’s disputed nuclear program. Rouhani told officials earlier this week that his government inherited “scary” economic indicators.
--Editors: Randall Hackley, Tony Barrett