EghtesadOnline: Groundwater reserves in Tehran Province have fallen by 150 million cubic meters per annum, the director for water reserves conservation at the Regional Water Company of Tehran said.
“In all parts of the province, there is a negative balance in groundwater resources, which means the extraction of water from aquifers is much higher than the volume of water added to them,” Hassan Zahmatkesh was also quoted as saying by ILNA on Monday. Zahmatkesh noted that Varamin Plain, 40 kilometers southeast of the capital Tehran, account for about 70 million cubic meters of water shortage and the rest pertains to other plains in the province. The official noted that the province has 10 plains, all of which are in critical condition.
“In cooperation with the Tehran Province Water and Wastewater Company, we are building a wastewater treatment plant, the output of which will be used for agriculture,” he said, adding that a portion of treated wastewater will be supplied to Varamin Plain to alleviate the crisis.
He announced that the construction of a second section of the plant is expected to start in the current Iranian year (ending March 20, 2019). Zahmatkesh stressed that with the construction of such plants in different parts of the province, water quality problems can be solved, while less water will be extracted from aquifers, according to Financial Tribune.
“Accordingly, the new water resource can replace the water extracted from wells,” he said.
"In the last fiscal, about 1,400 illegal wells, which depleted 54 million liters of groundwater, were sealed, while over 490 wells, extracting 21 mcm of water per year, were plugged during the past four and a half months."
Mohammad Jafar Nazemolsadat, an expert on atmospheric sciences in Shiraz University, told IRNA on Monday that utilizing deep water resources cannot solve the problem of water shortage in the country.
“Access to these resources is equal to the depletion of Iran’s whole water reserves,” he added.
Nazemolsadat further said that precipitation rate stands at about 800 millimeters on average globally, while it is 250 millimeters in Iran, which has significantly decreased in the past few years. Mehdi Mirzaei, a faculty member at the Islamic Azad University of Tehran, told ISNA in July that by ignoring the fact that the country's ominous water crisis is rooted in weak diplomatic relations with neighboring states, namely Afghanistan and Iraq, some still think dam construction is crucial to tackle water shortage.
Mirzaei noted that water flow to Iran's boundary from Afghanistan and Iraq has declined to as low as 10% and the depletion will have dire consequences.