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EghtesadOnline: The water crisis in Iran is a serious concern and neglecting the issue will have irreversible consequences, said the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture in Tehran, Monday.

Addressing the fourth National Water Festival, Gholamhossein Shafei emphasized the need for both the government and the private sector to focus on improving productivity of all main water consuming sectors, IRNA reported.

The festival was held to mark the National Water Day, March 4. Conservationists, environmentalists and water experts attended.

 “The National Center for Strategic Studies on Agriculture and Water, affiliated to ICCIMA, has been striving to find a workable solution to the worsening water crisis,” Financial Tribune quoted Shafei as saying.

“We still have 1,100 cubic meters of water per person. Experts say using modern technology can help. We are rapidly falling behind and cannot afford to make (more) mistakes. If we cannot think of a way out of the present crisis by 2022, the next steps would be costly,” he warned. It was not clear what those steps would be.

Located in one of the world’s most water-stressed regions, Iran’s average precipitation has been lower than the global average for at least 10 years.

Iran is among the top 20 countries with unsustainable water consumption. Experts and environmentalists say if the present trends persist, almost all underground water will dry up within 30 years and the country will face absolute water scarcity.

According to Energy Ministry data, every Iranian uses an average of 220 liters of water per day, while per capita water consumption in metropolises like Tehran exceeds 300 liters. The global average is 150 liters.

Desertification, abundance of several thousand illegal water wells, inefficient farming practices, water-intensive industries in arid regions and the injudicious use in households are making a bad situation worse.

 

Iran Water Crisis Chamber of Commerce Alarm