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Author Topic:   Iran rations water ....
Shahrzad
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posted July 12, 2001 10:11     Click Here to See the Profile for Shahrzad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Iran rations water in 30 cities

Mashhad, July 11, IRNA -- Iran, suffering under a crippling drought for the third successive year, has rationed water in 30 cities, the Deputy Energy Minister Gholam-Reza Manouchehri said here Wednesday. The rationing, he said, has been mostly applied in southern, eastern and central provinces of Sistan Baluchestan, Isfahan, Fars, Bushehr, Kerman, Khorassan and Tehran.

Water has been rationed in 12 cities in the Bushehr province, as it has been so in 10 cities in Sistan Baluchestan as well as all cities in desert areas in Kerman and Isfahan, he added.

Officials early this year predicted that 12 of Iran's 28 provinces are expected to be affected by the severe drought, including the capital Tehran which is starting to experience the first signs of water rationing for the first time.

A UN official recently said that Iran is worst hit by the drought in the region, adding its effects were far destructive than the previous years.

A UN report on Iran drought, the official said, indicated a "dark picture" of the prevailing drought in Iran, saying the country should start devising comprehensive plans to fight it.

Last year the drought which hit the country destroyed about three million tons of wheat and barley as well as a million heads of livestock, increasing Iran's dependency on food imports.

Reserves in three dams that provide 60 percent of Tehran's supply have sunk to dangerously low levels.

Poisonous snakes searching for water in an arid region in central Iran were reported recently to have sparked panic among the residents.

Mostafa Tabatabei, head of Mehriz Fire Department, told IRNA that the snakes, some of them over one meter long, had attacked Shahid Rejaie town over the past week in search of water as Iran has been hit by a severe drought for the third consecutive year.

Police recently detained 44 in the central city of Isfahan who were behind violent demonstrations against the water shortage in the city which brought traffic into a standstill.

Police had to shoot into the air to disperse the crowd of demonstrators.

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Shahrzad
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posted July 12, 2001 10:13     Click Here to See the Profile for Shahrzad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Drought may force Iran to buy more wheat

The Financial Times
By Guy Dinmore in Tehran

July 11 2001 08:33GMT

Iran, already the world's largest importer of wheat, may have to increase its purchases in 2001 as it enters a fourth year of drought so extreme that even camels are dying, a United Nations report warned on Tuesday.

The survey forecast falls of 35-75 per cent in production of wheat and barley in drought-stricken provinces this year, forcing Iran to buy more than the 7m tonnes of wheat it purchased in 2000.

The worst drought in more than three decades has affected 75m head of livestock, 4m hectares of rain-fed farmland, 2.6m ha of irrigated land and 1.1m ha of orchards. Losses are estimated at $2.6bn this year after $1.7bn in 2000.

"It is clear that the government effort alone is not sufficient. Concerted effort of the international community is urgently needed to mitigate the effects of the extreme drought," the report says.

All but three of Iran's 25 provinces have experienced even less precipitation during this last September-June rain season, the third successive year of extreme drought which stretches from India to the Caucasus and includes parts of China, Mongolia and central Asia.

Abbas Jazayeri, head of Iran's disaster taskforce, said the crisis had forced the government to spend IR2,160bn ($270m) from its oil stabilisation fund. The fund was set up last year for above-budget oil revenues that were to be divided equally between a reserve in case of future deficits and loans to promote exports and the private sector.

While Mr Jazayeri said the government had "risen to the occasion" in tackling the crisis, the UN report was harshly critical. It noted "prolonged deterioration in water management, dilapidated infrastructure, obsolete technologies, inappropriate institutional arrangements and a lack of importance given to water conservation".

The average Tehran city dweller was also rebuked for using twice as much water as his European counterpart.

Social and environmental consequences of the drought are widespread. More than 200,000 nomads dependent on animals have lost their livelihoods while villagers are forced to move into urban areas.

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Vatandoost
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posted July 13, 2001 17:59     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
100,000 farmers in Isfahan lose jobs on account of severe drought

Isfahan, July 12, IRNA -- Some 100,000 farmers in this central city have lost their jobs on account of the severe drought which has hit Iran for the third successive year, Provincial Governor Heydar Qassemi said Thursday. The number of jobless farmers above stated indicates that some 65 percent of the whole population in one district of the city are without jobs, he said, adding that total loss could come up to more than 350 billion rials.

Crops in the city have died after the famous Zayandeh River, an often-visited site for tourists which cuts through Isfahan, has almost dried up.

Police recently detained 44 people who participated in violent demonstrations against the water shortage in the city.

Iran is suffering from severe drought for the third year in a row which cost the country 3.5 billion dollars last year. A UN official has put this year's loss at 2.5 billion dollars.

Deputy Energy Minister Gholam-Reza Manouchehri said Wednesday that water has been rationed in 30 cities in the southern, eastern and central provinces of Sistan Baluchestan, Isfahan, Fars, Bushehr, Kerman, Khorassan and Tehran.

Water has been rationed in 12 cities in Bushehr province, as it has been in 10 cities in Sistan Baluchestan as well as all cities in the desert areas of Kerman and Isfahan, he added.

Officials early this year predicted that 12 of Iran's 28 provinces were to be affected by a severe drought, including the capital Tehran which started water rationing as early as the first week of June.

A UN official recently said that Iran is the worst hit by the drought in the region, adding the effects of this year's drought are far more destructive than those of previous years.

A UN report on the drought in Iran, the official said, shows a "dark picture" of the continuing situation in the country, saying it should start devising comprehensive plans to fight water shortage.

Last year the drought which hit the country destroyed about three million tons of wheat and barley as well as a million heads of livestock, thereby increasing Iran's dependency on food imports.

Reserves in three dams that provide 60 percent of Tehran's supply have sunk to dangerously low levels.

Poisonous snakes searching for water in an arid region in central Iran were reported recently to have sparked panic among its residents.

Mostafa Tabatabei, head of the Mehriz Fire Department, told IRNA that the snakes, some of them over one meter long, showed up in Shahid Rejaie town over the past week in search of badly needed water after months of deprivation.

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Vatandoost
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posted July 13, 2001 18:00     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Water cuts to increase in Mashhad amid severe drought

BBC Monitoring Service
Jul 12, 2001

Mashhad, Iran, 12 July: The Iranian authorities in the second largest city of Mashhad have warned of "increasing the water cut period" as water shortage is said to have hit a "critical" state.

"The production and reserve of drinking water in this holy thickly-populated (2.5-million-people) city has become more critical over the past two weeks," Mohammad Reza Akbarzadeh, general manager of Mashhad Water and Sewage Company, told IRNA Thursday [12 July].

"The only solution to the crisis is lingering the water cut period in each district from a current five hours a day to eight hours a day," he said.

He noted that the water reserves have declined by 80 per cent, adding hot weather has aggravated the problem.

Iran, suffering under a crippling drought for the third successive year, has rationed water in 30 cities including the capital Tehran.

Officials early this year predicted that 12 of Iran's 28 provinces are expected to be affected by the severe drought, including the capital Tehran which is starting to experience the first signs of water rationing for the first time...

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Ardalan
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posted July 16, 2001 15:34     Click Here to See the Profile for Ardalan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Zargar says 32 to 37 percent of potable water wasted

Bojnourd, Khorassan Pro., July 14, IRNA -- Deputy Energy Minister for Water Affairs Rasul Zargar said here Saturday that 32 to 37 percent of the country's potable water are wasted due to the dilapidated urban water transfer network. Zargar told IRNA that per capita water consumption in Iran exceeds global standards and this demands changes in the country's water consumption patterns.

He said about 60 percent of the 82 billion cubic meter of water used in the agriculture sector do not directly go to plants.

He added that huge amount of water are wasted while pumping into to the main or secondary networks or farms.

Criticizing the weak management in water resources, he pointed out that the government spends rls 5,000 billion a year to establish dams and irrigation networks.

Iran, suffering under a crippling drought for the third successive year, has rationed water in 30 cities.

It has cost the country 3.5 billion dollars last year. A U.N. official has put this year's loss at 2.5 billion dollars.

The rationing has been mostly applied in southern, eastern and central provinces of Sistan Baluchestan, Isfahan, Fars, Bushehr, Kerman, Khorassan and Tehran.

Water has been rationed in 12 cities in the Bushehr province, as well as in 10 cities in Sistan Baluchestan and all cities in desert areas in Kerman and Isfahan.

Officials early this year predicted that 12 of Iran's 28 provinces are expected to be affected by the severe drought, including the capital Tehran which is experiencing water rationing for the first time.

A water rationing plan went into force in Tehran as water levels in the metropolis have reached critical levels after three consecutive years of drought. The Iranian capital has a population of about ten million.

Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf had told a press conference recently: "Due to the critical water shortage, supplies to one district at a time would be cut off between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on a rotational basis."

However, he had said water rationing could end sooner than the projected schedule if citizens adopt reasonable consumption patterns and cut consumption by 15 percent.

A similar rationing plan has also gone into force in Mashhad, Iran's second largest city and a number of other cities and provinces

Meanwhile, Deputy governor general of Isfahan province said that given the rate of water consumption in the province water reserves of Zayandeh-Roud Dam will be depleted within two months.

Abdolhussein Seifollahi said that the dam has a reserve capacity of 456 million cubic meters of water, adding that in return for the 35 cubic meters consumption per second only 25 cubic meters of water flows into the reservoir.

He said water problem in the province can be solved through implementation of two development projects that are facing a budget deficit of rls 70 billion. He said managers in the industry sectors should be encouraged to meet the demands in finances.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of Water and Sewerage Company of Tehran Province Sattar Mahmoudi said recently that only 23 subterranean canals out of the existing number of 286 in Tehran could be exploited, adding that operations would be launched this year despite heavy costs.

Reserves in three dams that provide 60 percent of Tehran's supply have sunk to dangerously low levels.

A U.N. official recently said that Iran is the worst-hit country in the region, adding the effects of this year's drought are far more destructive than those of previous years.

A U.N. report on the drought in Iran, the official said, shows a `dark picture' of the continuing situation in the country, saying it should start devising comprehensive plans to fight water shortage.

Last year the drought which hit the country destroyed about three million tons of wheat and barley as well as a million head of livestock, thereby increasing Iran's dependency on food imports.

Meanwhile poisonous snakes searching for water in an arid region in central Iran were reported recently to have sparked panic among its residents.

Mostafa Tabatabei, head of the Mehriz Fire Department in the central province of Yazd, told IRNA that the snakes, some of them over one meter long, showed up in Shahid Rejaie town in search of badly needed water after months of deprivation.

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Ardalan
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posted July 16, 2001 15:35     Click Here to See the Profile for Ardalan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Drought threatens 200,000 livestock in northeast

BBC Monitoring Service
Jul 14, 2001

Birjand, Khorasan Province: 14 July: Severe drought conditions, which have hit the country for the third consecutive year, are threatening some 200,000 head of livestock in northeastern Iran, an official said here Saturday [14 July].

Ali Barati, head of nomadic affairs of the Agricultural Jihad Ministry said that since March some 15,000 head of livestock in the region have died as a result of drought.

Many nomads, who mainly earn their livelihood from animal husbandry, have sold their cattle and are living under difficult conditions, he said.

Pastures in the region, which feeds a total of 580,000 head of livestock, have become overstretched because of excessive grazing and drought, Barati added...

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Vatandoost
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posted July 20, 2001 15:44     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Drought damage severe and irreparable, says UN representative

BBC Monitoring Service
Jul 19, 2001

Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA

Shiraz, Fars Province, 19 July: The United Nations' representative for environmental affairs, during a visit to Hermud, Larestan region of Fars Province on Wednesday [18 July], said the damage inflicted by three successive years of drought in the province are severe and irreparable.

The head of the province's environment department said that the UN representative, during his visit, was furnished reports of damages inflicted on various parts of the province.

"The UN official was greatly disturbed by the damage inflicted on the region," Mohammad Hasan Pirasteh told IRNA.

He further noted that visits of the kind to the country's drought-stricken regions provide valuable opportunities for assessing and preparing a report on the resulting damage, as well as presenting ways of fighting the crisis and eliciting some kind of financial aid from international organizations such as the UN.

Iran is in the third successive year of drought which cost the country 3.5bn dollars last year alone. A UN official has placed this year's loss at 2.5bn dollars.

Early this year, officials predicted that 12 of Iran's 28 provinces would be affected by a severe drought, including the capital Tehran which started water rationing from the first week of June.

A UN official recently said that Iran is the worst hit among countries in the region, adding that the effects of this year's drought are far more severe than those of previous years.

Last year, the drought which hit the country destroyed about three million tons of wheat and barley as well as a million head of livestock, thereby increasing Iran's dependency on food imports.

Reserves in three dams that provide 60 per cent of Tehran's supply have shrunk to dangerously low levels. Officials have warned that Iranian dams, supplying water and electricity, may dry in 90 days.

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Vatandoost
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posted August 03, 2001 10:01     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Iran Drought Turns Lakes to Scorched Earth

By Ali Raiss-Tousi

DASHT-E ARJAN, Iran (Reuters) Jul. 31 - The cool waters of Lake Arjan in southern Iran were once a haven for migrating birds, wild animals and diverse plant life.

Now, the sun beats relentlessly on the dried and cracked lake bed and nomads, who could once depend on pastures further afield, have brought their goats and sheep to forage for the last scraps of greenery.

``There is agricultural water here for our livestock, but we have sold a lot,'' said Mohsen Rostami, a member of the Qashqai tribe, as he stood next to his tents in the middle of the scorched landscape.

After three years of extreme drought, which the United Nations has said is the most severe in Iran for 30 years, most of the country's wetlands have dried out and many farmers are struggling to survive.

Iran's nomads have been badly hit. Lands which once supported their livestock no longer have sufficient vegetation.

``They have sold around 80 percent of their livestock,'' said Mohammad Aqa-Rezaei, an expert at the Environment Protection Organization. ``There is not enough fodder to go around.''

Some 800,000 head of livestock died last year. Officials have said millions of sheep, goats, cattle and even traditionally resilient camels are threatened this year.

SCORCHED EARTH

Iran's natural biodiversity is shriveling under the heat.

``The affect of the drought on the area's flora and fauna has been devastating,'' said Alamdar Alamdari, a senior environment researcher in Fars province, where Lake Arjan is located.

``More than 90 percent of our wetlands have completely dried up,'' he said, adding that alongside natural vegetation, animals such as wild cats, foxes and mountain goats were suffering.

Almost all of Iran's 28 provinces have suffered sharp drops in rainfall for the third consecutive year. In Sistan-Baluchestan, in the southeast, there has been 78 percent less rain than last year's total, which was already low.

In Fars, rainfall has been 47 percent less than last year. Only one freshwater lake in the province has survived the drought, but water levels in Lake Parishan are also retreating.

``This year we did not even have 50,000 birds,'' Alamdari told Reuters. ``This is down from up to a million birds from 160 species who nest here in normal years.''

Lake Hamoon, on Iran's border with Afghanistan, was a vital water source for local herders and a dynamic ecosystem, despite its parched desert surroundings.

Now, the lake bed is a short cut for smugglers, in a region where the trafficking of drugs and other contraband is rife.

Irrigation channels which once transferred water to farms have run dry and villagers, who have not yet abandoned their dwellings, face a daily routine of fetching drinking water from far-off wells.

A United Nations report said many villagers in drought-hit areas had given up their homes and headed to towns where water is available.

Lake Bakhtegan, which once covered more than 370,700 acres, was a major source of humidity and an important barrier against the desertification of Fars, Alamdari said.

It has become a short cut for truck drivers.

``The threat of desert encroachment from the east will be serious if Bakhtegan remains dry,'' he added.

NO RAIN, NO GRAIN

The U.N. report, published earlier this month, said damage to agriculture and livestock was estimated at $2.6 billion this year, up from $1.7 billion in 2000.

``Some seven million hectares of farmlands and 1.2 million hectares of orchards have been affected,'' said Abbas Jazayeri, head of the disaster task force at the interior ministry.

Farmers are expecting reductions of 35-75 percent in wheat and barley produce. Last year Iran imported a record seven million tons of wheat, partly because of reduced domestic production due to the drought.

``There has been no rain,'' said one farmer near the southern city of Shiraz, as he labored to separate grain from chaff from a sharply reduced harvest.

Drinking water has been rationed in more than 30 major towns and cities. The capital Tehran, with a population of 10 million, has been divided into six districts each of which face a 12-hour water cut once a week.

The U.N. report called for international donors to provide some 12,000 mobile water tankers to deliver drinking water to drought-stricken urban, rural and nomadic populations, as well as to supply livestock, wildlife and orchards.

Also needed are 12,000 stationary tankers, some 2,500 electric and diesel water pumps, 1.5 million tons of barley feed and 35 tons of multivitamins and mineral supplements for livestock, the report said.

The 12 most severely affected provinces are already relying on water tankers to transport drinking water.

``The vulnerability of the natural flora and fauna and also agriculture to pests and diseases has greatly increased because of the drought,'' Alamdari said.

The intensity of the damage has been such that authorities are paying farmers $25 for each 2.2 lbs of pests and pest larva collected.

In the eastern town of Gonabad alone, some 624 lbs of larva have been bought by the state, the U.N. report said.

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