EghtesadOnline: Projects to decrease groundwater extraction in Yazd Province have helped reduce the rate of depletion of groundwater in plains and aquifers.
An average one billion cubic meters of water is extracted from groundwater sources in the arid central province every year, which has caused severe water deficits in most plains, ISNA reported.
Groundwater overdraft may lead to destruction of vegetation, increase the possibility of dust storms, creation of holes in the plains, higher salt content in groundwater and land subsidence.
To slow down the damaging process, Yazd Regional Water Company has adopted measures including installing smart meters for water wells and sealing illegal wells of which there are more than plenty in the region, Financial Tribune reported.
A smart meter is a modern electricity meter that digitally sends meter readings to energy suppliers and ensures accurate billing.
Installation of smart meters helps control groundwater use and prevents overconsumption and waste.
If farmers draw water above the volume(s) specified for them from their own wells, electricity is cut off automatically.
Transforming traditional wells into smart wells has been on the agenda of the ministry and so far 20% of the wells have new meters. More smart meters means better and efficient monitoring of power and water consumption.
Yazd is in the center of Iran where two deserts of Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut meet. Due to the dry and arid climate conditions plus long and near permanent droughts, Yazd needs more pro-active management and optimal use of its fast depleting water resources.
Projects implemented by the provincial water authority in 2016 helped save 44 million cubic meters of waters. In the following year, they saved over 75 mcm and in 2018, about 85 mcm of the precious resource.
Experts say it is imperative to adopt effective measures in the water-intensive farming sector to curb waste and inefficient use of the valuable resource that has emerged as a serious and growing concern in most countries.
Proposals call for accountability, limiting cultivation of water-intensive crops, modernizing farming systems and improving farming methods such as the user of drip irrigation.