EghtesadOnline: Despite the good torrential rains, the amount of water flowing into dams in Iran from the beginning of the current water year (Sept 2019) until February 28 declined 34% compared to the same period last year, director of the Department of Water Operations at Iran Water Resources Management Company said.
“During the 160-day period, 18.5 billion cubic meters of water flowed into dams across the country,” Mehr News Agency quoted Vahid Asgarinejad as saying.
Iran has 193 dams with total storage capacity of 50 bcm of water. Currently, there are 30 bcm of water stored in the dams, which is down 3% compared to the same time last year, Financial Tribune reported.
Of the total dams, 37 are 90% full, and the amount of water in 45 dams is less than 40%. On average, 60% of the capacity of the dams is full, Asgarinejad noted.
Since the start of the water year, the average rainfall in Iran has reached 172.1 millimeters, indicating 7% decline compared to the corresponding period last year.
Iran is divided into six primary river basins. Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman basin in the south has had the highest rainfall at 296.6 mm so far but still 11% lower than last year.
Caspian Sea in the north received 230.6 mm of rainfall, 23% less than last year and Urmia Lake in the northwest with 176.5 mm was 33% down.
Karakum basin in the northeast had 102.2 mm of rain in the period, down 24% compared to 2019.
Two basins, however, received more rain. Over 110 mm of rain was registered in the Central Plateau in Markazi Province, indicating 8% rise compared to last year.
The least amount of rain fell in the Hamoun Wetlands in the east barely reaching 82.9 mm. Nevertheless, the river basin has had the highest level of growth in precipitation compared to last year with 109% rise.
Water Consumption Rises
Decrease in the average rainfall comes amid rising water consumption due to the outbreak of coronavirus in Iran.
Following outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran and 72 other countries, the need to observe personal hygiene and health safety measures, water consumption in the provinces has jumped because of regular washing of hands and cleaning possessions and the environment.
Safety measures against the virus include cleaning hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
The novel coronavirus, which was first reported in China in December, has caused an outbreak of respiratory illness (COVID-19) worldwide.
Iran has confirmed 2,300 cases of infection with the new virus, with 77 reported dead by Tuesday afternoon.
The total number of people worldwide who have tested positive for the virus exceeded 90,000 by Tuesday with over 3,100 deaths.