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EghtesadOnline: Since the beginning of the current water year (September 23) almost 140 millimeters of rain fell in Iran, 22% above the long-term average, head of Weather Forecasting Office at Iran's Meteorological Organization said.

“The downpour is 7% higher compared to the corresponding period last year when 130 mm of rainfall was registered,” Ahad Vazifeh was quoted as saying by ISNA.

Four provinces, namely Gilan, Mazandaran, Kohgiluyeh-Boyerahmad and Hormozgan reported the highest rainfall at 460 mm, 360 mm, 330 mm and 286 mm, respectively, according to Financial Tribune.

Precipitation in other provinces including Semnan (54 mm), Yazd (44 mm) and North Khorasan (58 mm) was of the descending order in long-term average.

Regarding Tehran, Vazifeh noted that precipitation declined by 30% compared to last year.

Iran is divided into six primary river basins.

Hamoun Wetlands in the east (mainly in Sistan-Baluchestan Province) experienced the highest rainfall at 72 mm, up 396% compared to last year.

Close to 89 millimeters of rainfall was registered in the Central Plateau in Markazi Province, indicating 37% rise compared to last year.

Karakum in the northeast received 88 millimeters of rain in the period, up 15% compared to 2018.

Downpours in other basins including the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman in the south, Urmia Lake in northwest and the Caspian Sea in the north declined.

Urmia Lake barely received 110 mm, down 42% compared to 2018 when the figure was 190 mm.

In the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea plus the Caspian Sea, precipitation decreased by 24% and 2% respectively.


Dams Half Full

In related news, ISNA reported that dams last May were 82% full, but water levels have fallen to 58%. In 2018 the storage level was 45%.

The amount of water stored in dams dwindled by 11% between July 22 and August 22, 2019. 

Dams across the country held 36 billion cubic meters of water in July, 2018, but fell to 32 bcm in August, 2019 -- down 11%.

People and authorities have voiced concern about water shortages as many regions 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.

Despite the higher precipitation people and authorities are concerned about water shortages as many regions across the country are struggling with chronic water shortages that now resemble a crisis.  

Experts predict that the country's water scarcity will hit crisis level by 2025, when available renewable water will be less than 1,000 cubic meters per capita, down from 2,000 cubic meters in 1950.


above Iran Water Rainfall water year Average Long-Term Average rain