Declining levels of rainfall together with exorbitant drainage of underground waters have turned out to be so serious during the past few years that the water crisis or water shortage are being more tangible every day.
“Water abundance is just an illusion”, expresses the Minister of Energy, Reza Ardekanian, in a recent article. A vast area of the country has been located in arid and semi-arid climate, and this has affiliated the domestic development to solving “the water crisis”. The minister continues in his article: “Nowadays, an important factor for development of societies is the existence of water. The Iranian Plateau, in general, and Yazd Province, in particular, urgently need sustainable water transfer projects in order to survive and to keep its economic and social potentials as well as their human resources. What has been done during the past years regarding water transfer from Koohrang Wellsprings, is of great importance. But the past few years’ incidents revealed that such water would not be sustainable. The experts believe that transferring water from Oman Sea would be considered the best option regarding the country’s climate, environmental measures, and the regional water quality. The decision do implement such project has been made by high-ranking officials”. “Feasibility studies for the second water transfer line and also water transfer project from Oman Sea are being conducted and the country’s Management and Programing Organization has issued the permission for such studies”, the minister quotes The Yazd General Governor, Mahmood Zamani Qomi who made the comment during a meeting.
Establishing a Cooperative to Transfer Water to Center of the Country
Pars Central Plateau Water Transfer Cooperative Company has been founded with the support of a number of industry managers in Yazd Province in line with the necessity to tackle water crisis and considering the absence of state budgets for such projects. “Water is critical to keep investment and employment in the center of Iran”, says Seyyed Mohammad Ehramian, the member of the board at the cooperative, reiterating the significance of forming an efficient executive team and a strong think factory. Ehramian expresses that if people’s trust is earned, the private sector is capable of transferring water to Yazd.
“We have suggested water shares to encourage people’s participation in the project so that they would be given the possession of a portion of the transferred water by paying a certain amount of money”, comments Alireza Tarazi, another member of the board at the cooperative. He adds that according to the cooperative law, people would participate in this project and they will economically benefit apart from implementing a vital social movement.
Yazd Province to Need 270M Cubic Meters of Water by 2045
According to Mohammad Mehdi Javadian, the general manager at Yazd Regional Water Authority, the province has an annual average precipitation of 80 millimeters which is a third of the average figure in the country while the renewable water would not surpass 777 million cubic meters which is considered as 0.7 percent of the entire renewable water in the country. While the province is among the poorest provinces in terms of annual precipitation, it has a brilliant background in trade and craftsmanship and it has rich fertile soil for agriculture, huge mineral deposits, rich cultural background and diligent people which have all created numerous opportunities for social and industrial development. The water problem has always been a deterrent or threatening factor in the way of development in the province. Currently, 1,080 million cubic meters of water is yielded in the province, of which 95% is supplied through underground reservoirs. Out of the figure, 83% is consumed in the agriculture sector, while 6% and 11% are consumed in the industry and drinking water respectively. According to statistics, the 2.5-million population of Yazd Province in 2045 would require 270 million cubic meters of water. This is while only 130 million cubic meters would be attainable considering all the available water sources in the province. “Estimates on industry reveal that the province would require 400 million cubic meters of water in order to realize the economic development set by the Sixth Economic Development Plan” , adds Javadian.
Water Crisis Would Lead to Immigration
Industrial and agricultural development has been led through a wrong path during the past decades and water development plans have all turned out to be a water illusion, expresses Fatemi Ardekani, another member of the board at Pars Central Plateau Water Transfer Cooperative, emphasizing the necessity to provide a framework for the central region of the country to survive and live.
Fatemi says people in Yazd have followed the path of their ancestors in dealing with water shortage. “We will implement a plan which would be sustainable and we will prove our perseverance. We will demonstrate that we belong to the very same generation of hardworking people who dug hundreds of kilometers of underground canals with no technology and equipment. Based on modern technology, we are capable of refining, desalinating, and transferring water to hundreds of kilometers away from Oman Sea”, says he.
The issue is also mentioned by Seyyed Abolfazl Mousavi, the parliament representative from Yazd as he points to the obligation to transfer water to central regions. “Lack or shortage of water will cause a massive wave of immigration in the country”, the MP reiterates. According to him, the statistics show that as much as 80% of the underground reserves has been consumed. “Since the modern technology warns us that we are in a threatening situation in terms of water reserves, the private sector and the elites have come to the conclusion to form a cooperative to attract the initial investment to transfer water from Oman Sea to the Central Plateau”, Mousavi adds. The MP predicts tough years, saying more traditional means might be necessary to prevent people from immigrating.
Ayatollah Nasseri Reiterates Necessity of Water Transfer Project
The representative of the Supreme Leader of Iran in Yazd Province, Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Nasseri, expressed the necessity of transferring water to Yazd, according to a report from the Public Relations of the PKCG. The official made the comments during a meeting with managers of the PKCG, emphasizing that everyone should give a hand to solve the drinking water crisis and to accelerate this project. He defined water supply as the only requirement for survival in the central plateau. “I mentioned the issue in my meeting the General Governor and I also suggested to have meetings in Tehran with the minister of energy to facilitate the process”, said Ayatollah Nasseri.
Pars Water Transfer Cooperative Company has been established in Yazd Province, aimed at transferring water from Oman Sea to the central parts of the country.