EghtesadOnline: Higher precipitation in recent weeks has filled 70% of the capacity of dams in Iran, the Energy Minister said.
Dams collectively can hold over 50 billion cubic meters of water. Now 35 bcm is stored behind dams, Mehr News Agency reported Reza Ardakanian as saying.
"Since the beginning of the current water year (Sept 2019), 300 millimeters of rainfall was registered, which is 30% higher than the long-time average," Ardakanian said.
After last year's floods, “we took contingency measures to be able to deal with floodwaters. Now 30% of the capacity of dams’ is kept empty as more rain is expected by mid-June.”
Heavy rainfall in March and April of last year killed more than 70 people and inflicted colossal human and material damage in many towns and villages, especially in the western and northern regions.
Overflowing rivers washed away farmlands, roads and bridges, inundated homes, destroyed infrastructure and displaced tens of thousands of people in several provinces.
There are 183 dams in Iran. However, the water levels in dams is not the same. While some are over 90% full, the water in others is less than 30% of the capacity.
According to the Energy Ministry, 100 more dams are in different stages of construction. When completed, they should add 18 billion cubic meters to the water storage capacity.
Dams are scattered across all the six main catchment areas. The highest number under construction (54) is in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman catchment area in the south and 31 are being built in the Caspian Sea catchment area in the north.
Other catchment areas namely the Central Plateau in the center of Iran, Urmia Lake in the northwest, Hamoun Wetlands in the east and Karakum in the northeast will be home to 9, 3, 2 and 1 dams, respectively.
Increase in rainfall brings glad tidings in more ways than one, but the pattern of water waste and rising consumption has been alarming, especially in the past few months.
The latest jump in consumption is due to the spread of the coronavirus and the compulsion to wash hands and substances several times a day to avoid infection from the deadly virus.
Following the spread of Covid-19 in Iran and across the globe and the need to observe personal hygiene and health safety measures, water consumption has leaped to new levels. This could get worse as the summer fast approaches and temperatures rise over 50 degrees Centigrade in the southern and western regions.
Safety measures against the virus include cleaning hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
Iran has confirmed more than 140,000 cases of known infections with over 7,500 dead by Wednesday afternoon.
The total number of people worldwide who have tested positive for the virus exceeded 5.7 million with more than 352,000 deaths.
Ardakanian appealed for more conservation and judicious use of water to avoid shortages and cuts in summer.