Now, Iran’s deputy energy minister announced that the current Iranian calendar year, from March 21, 2017 to March 21, 2018, has been the driest in the last 50 years.
As well, the agency in charge of forests and pastures has also stated that out of 600 agricultural and grazing plains, 355 have tuned arid. An official of the agency admitted that water resources have been abused. In fact, 6 billion cubic meters of underground water a year are being extracted illegally.
Another official of the energy ministry, Rahim Meydani, warned of a drastic reduction in precipitation in the current year, as irrigation dams have received 30 percent less water compared to previous Iranian year. Even regions adjacent to the Persian Gulf received 67 percent less rain, and in several other provinces, where forecasts were good, there has been 40-75 percent less precipitation.
Tehran’s governor recently voiced concern about a serious shortage in drinking water for the capital, saying that the region has had the least amount of precipitation in the last 50 years.
For years, experts, scientists, and government officials have warned of a water crisis, yet local media reports that the government does not have the necessary financial resources to take steps to improve water management.
Although the budget proposal was presented quietly this year, people began examining it. They found information on Iran’s religious institutes, on the budget of certain parts of the Revolutionary Guards, and other information that showed where the government was spending money. They also learned that they would be forced to pay more for fuel. They read that the monthly cash handouts of Iran, $12 a person, would be canceled for 30 million Iranians. This information made people angry.
A social media movement called “Change the budget in favor of the people” has been demanding a reduction of appropriations for the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, and religious institutions. Clearly, this money would be better spent to manage Iran’s dwindling water reserves. But the as the Iranian people in their nationwide protests in past weeks announced, the one and only solution to all these problems is nothing but regime change, otherwise a country over an ocean of oil and enormous natural resources all over the country, with one of the youngest population of the world, could easily overcome its environmental problems.