EghtesadOnline: Higher precipitation in recent days has not defused Tehran’s water crisis that continues to worsen, head of the Base Studies Department in the provincial water company said.
“Average rainfall in the province has reached 167 millimeters since September (beginning of the current year)” Mohammadreza Khaniki was quoted as saying by ILNA.
Despite the rise, water wells in Tehran are in such bad shape that little in anything can improve with good rains in one or two years, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Giving a breakdown, he said the highest level (335 millimeters) was registered in Lavasan in Shemiranat County.
Precipitation (in the 5-month period) in Cheshmeh A'la in Damavand, Firouzkouh and Simindasht (Firouzkouh County) was 290 millimeters, 103 millimeters and 100 millimeters, respectively.
“The downpour has indeed (positively) affected surface water sources and dams that supply half of Tehran’s water. But the other 50% of potable water comes from groundwater sources that are still in bad condition” due to increasing consumption and waste, he added.
Tehran's water consumption is about 1.5 times over and above the national average.
The unsustainable and dangerous consumption patterns seriously threaten water supply in the sprawling capital amid low rainfall and persistent drought.
According to data from the Energy Ministry, the average Iranian uses 250 liters of water per day, while per capita water consumption in metropolises such as Tehran may exceed 300 liters.
Surveys of groundwater sources in the plains around the capital city show that they are depleting rapidly, and it has created serious concern among the people conservationists, environmentalists and economic experts.
Excessive pumping is harming water tables and stopping wells from reaching groundwater. When groundwater is overused, lakes, streams and rivers connected to groundwater also start diminishing. Underground water overdraft can also lead to land subsidence as it occurs when there is loss of support below the ground.
Currently, the amount of water stored in dams near the capital is 620 million cubic meters, indicating a 4% rise (25 mcm) from this time last year.
According to Seyed Hassan Razavi, managing director of Tehran Regional Water Company, in the distant past efforts were made to increase Tehran’s water supply by constructing Amirkabir, Latian, Lar, Mamlou and Taleqan dams. But "if injudicious use continues, the consequences could be dire."
Referring to the strength of dams around Tehran, he noted that heavy rains and floods cannot damage the mega structures.
“The dams are monitored on a regular basis and can withstand a quake of 7.5-8 on the Richter scale”.