The Parliamentary Research Center of the Government of Iran has warned of the spread of water stress protests in more than 250 cities in the country and announced that these dissatisfactions will be linked to other popular protests.
The drought and water scarcity crisis is not a new problem in Iran, but what is new is that in recent years, especially in 2021, and in an acute example, the water crisis led to widespread protests in Khuzestan province.
The story of the protests did not end in Khuzestan, and other cities and provinces of the country, regardless of whether they were short of water or faced drought, joined the protests of the people of Khuzestan and supported them.
The scale of the protests spread rapidly, exposing the government to a serious security crisis.
Although the protests of the people of Khuzestan province related to the water shortage were temporarily silenced, the signs and symptoms indicate that the existence and continuation of the problem, namely water shortage, and dehydration in various cities and provinces, currently, has become security concerns for the regime’s government.
Among them, the Research Center of the Iranian Parliament has published a report on the increase of drinking water tension in many cities of the country, and by announcing that 282 cities of the country are currently suffering from water shortage and dehydration, warns that there may be unrest and social dissatisfaction which will involve the Iranian government.
The Research Center of the Government of Iran, while pointing to the spread of water stress in cities and villages of the country, added that in the summer of 2021, water stress occurred in all major catchments.
This center added that this year, 104 cities in the central catchment area will suffer from water stress, and 38% of these cities will suffer from red water shortage status.
The situation of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea catchment areas is also critical, and, in these areas, 93 cities will suffer from water stress.
In addition to the report of the Parliamentary Research Center of the Government of Iran on the security threat of water scarcity in many cities of the country, Ahad Vasifeh, the head of the National Center for Drought and Crisis Management of the Meteorological Organization, announced a 60 percent reduction in rainfall leading to drought in the new wet year, adding that according to numerical models, with a probability of 60 to 70 percent for the fall and mid-winter of 2021, the country will witness only low rainfalls.
He considered the probability of a wet season in the new year to be very low and almost equal to zero. Currently, 259 cities and 8,562 villages are struggling with severe water stress.
On Thursday, September 23, Hamshahri newspaper reported: “The 2020-2021 water year was one of the lowest rainy years of the last 40 years, during which the heavy shadow of a severe drought has cast a shadow over almost the whole country, which left a significant number of towns and villages faced with rationing, frequent water cuts, and mobile water supply, and industry and agriculture were not excluded by it.”
Currently, 300 cities are experiencing water stress and more than 8,000 villages are being watered by tankers. Although at the end of the summer 2021 numbers announced by the regime’s officials about the hurt cities declined, according to the provincial statistics, this number reached 259 cities, and the increasing water stress in the villages is still tangible and according to the official statistics of the provinces, 8562 villages are struggling with severe water stress and are being watered by tankers. These statistics show that during the summer, water stress has intensified in 562 villages.
What the report of the Iranian Government Parliamentary Research Center highlights are the security, political, and social threats that could inflame the crisis of water shortage and cause trouble for Iran’s rulers.