The water reservoir of Tehran, the capital of Iran, has reached its lowest amount in more than 40 years. The dams of Tehran province are also facing an unprecedented lack of water. As Nematollah Torki, Deputy of Planning for Tehran, said on May 8th: “Tehran is in the most critical water situation and has reached a warning stage.”
Tehran’s dams have a reservoir of only 534 million cubic meters. According to the governorship of Tehran, the yearly water consumption in Tehran has reached 1050 million cubic meters.
Torki emphasized: “The water depositories of Tehran have reduced 226 million cubic meters towards last year.”
In the meantime, he blamed the problem on the people: “If the people do not economize we reduce the water pressure. And we will punish anybody who consumes too much water.”
Aging Infrastructure, High Consumption and Low Rain
As the warm season nears, the problem of lack of water in Tehran and other cities is more apparent than in the past.
The aging and worn water supply networks are one of the main factors contributing to waterlessness in Iran. Ali Mohammad Shakeri, Head of the Environment Department of Tehran, without mentioning why the government disregards this vital issue, said:
“Apart from high consumption, the timeworn water supply networks are one of the main factors of losing water in Tehran. The experts recommend rebuilding and renovating these timeworn networks to confront the crisis of shortage of water in Tehran.”
Outside Tehran, other cities in Iran are also facing the crisis of water shortage. In March of the current year, the Ministry of Energy warned that the danger of drought threatens more than 37 million people in cities and villages throughout Iran.
According to the Environment Protection Organization of Iran said, shortage of water sources is the most serious environment issue facing Iran.
The CEO of the Water Company of Tehran region confirms that, in addition to declining rain protection, the mismanagement and improper use of the available water resources has led to vital lakes, rivers and wetlands drying up in recent years.
Hamidreza Tashayoi, the exploitation deputy of the Water and Sewage Company, said in the last days of 2013 that “due to the drought, 500 cities of the country are facing the crisis of shortage of water.”
In addition to the water shortage, the water of Tehran is unhygienic. Hadi Heydarzadeh, the environment advisor to Tehran’s mayor, said in 2009:
“The underground water resources of Tehran have been contaminated due to the absence of civil sewage network in this metropolis. The contamination of Tehran’s water is a real and serious challenge for the capital and some of the city managers avoid dealing with it.”
Heydarzadeh mentioned that Tehran does not have an adequate civil sewage network and recommended that people “drink Tehran’s water cautiously”, he said in this matter:
“In the context of the management of sewage network among the metropolises of the world, Tehran is considered as one of the ten worst cities of the world.”