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EghtesadOnline: Since the beginning of the current water year (September 23) precipitation has declined 10% compared to last year. Average rainfall in the 31 provinces was 6 millimeters in the period.

Five provinces, namely South Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, Ilam, Semnan and Khuzestan, had no rainfall in the 30 days, ISNA reported.

Precipitation in other provinces including Tehran, Yazd, Qom, Isfahan, Lorestan and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari has been less than one millimeter.

The northern provinces namely Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan reported the highest rainfall at 106 mm, 66 mm and 36 mm respectively, according to Financial Tribune.

Sistan-Baluchestan, the second largest province bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan, which has been struggling with severe water shortages for more than two decades,  has reported barely 22 mm of rain in the period.

Iran is divided into six primary river basins. The Caspian Sea in the north and Karakum and the Central Plateau in Markazi Province have had the highest and lowest rainfall since September. The former registered 26 millimeters. The latter barely 0.1 millimeters.

Other basins include the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman in the south, Urmia Lake in northwest and Hamoun Wetlands in the east (mainly in Sistan-Baluchestan Province).



Less Water in Dams

The amount of water stored in dams has dwindled by 11% between July 22 and August 22. Dams across the country held 36 billion cubic meters of water in July, but the level fell to 32 bcm in August -- down 11%.

Dams were 82% full in May but now are 53% full. In 2018 the storage level was 45%.

People and authorities have voiced concern about water shortages as many regions across the country struggle with chronic water shortages that has gradually taken the form and shape of a major crisis.

Iran has been battling drought for decades because of declining rainfall, rising temperatures, old and inefficient farming practices, excessive consumption in metropolises and poor water management.

Since the 1970s  use of groundwater increased fourfold and the average decline in groundwater tables has been in the region of 50 centimeters per annum.  

Iran registered significant improvement in rainfall in March and April when precipitation in most provinces exceeded the average in 50 years.

According to Iran Water Resources Management Company, 337 millimeters of rainfall was recorded in 2018, up 180 millimeters compared to the average precipitation in the past 11 years.


Iran Decline water year Precipitation Average rainfall