Iran’s Water Woes More Worrying than War

Tehran Skyline, Iran, war, water issues, water scarcity, climate change, global warming, Israel, nuclear, politicsInternational media is so obsessed with Iran’s forbidden access to nuclear energy and the possibility of war that a host of other issues far more worrying than war are being ignored. And it starts with water.

Iran’s population of 75 million faces chronic water shortages, according to a recent story published in Al Monitor.

Not only have three of its major lakes dried up, including Lake Orumieh, the tragic devastation of which we have covered several times, Lake Haman, and Lake Bakhtegan, but changes in weather patterns as a result of rising global temperatures ensure very little renewal.

“Here in Iran, we are situated in a low-precipitation belt of the planet,” Gary Lewis, the UN resident coordinator in Iran, told Al-Monitor. “One primary concern must therefore be water. We are at risk of a perfect storm: water scarcity, land degradation and climate change all feeding into each other.”

Unlike Israel, where water shortages have long been a fact of life, the Iranian government has done very little about educating the masses to conserve water. As a result, they act as if there is a never-ending source.

Currently the average Iranian uses 70 percent more water than the global average, Lewis told the paper. Shopkeepers in Tehran are said to wash their storefront sidewalks with water instead of using a broom, and in the heat of the day during a recent heat wave, municipal workers were seen watering with full flow hoses.

Agriculture uses approximately 90 percent of the country’s water, and approximately 70 percent of that is wasted. This is a sad state of affairs for a nation that boasts an impressive history of sustainable water management practices.

Israel and Iran are arch enemies, and so much time and energy is wasted perpetuating this lingering political hatred, but the latter nation could stand to learn from Israel’s super efficient irrigation practices and ingenuous desert farming.

Water scarcity is a reality the entire Middle East has always faced, but as temperatures soar, ground aquifers run low, and populations grow, the situation becomes more perilous.

Fortunately, there is some evidence that water scarcity leads more to peace than it does to war, despite incendiary rhetoric to the contrary. Already Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians cooperate extensively behind the scenes to improve the state of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.

Maybe, just maybe, we can dream that one day Iran and Israel will make friends.

:: Al-Monitor

Image of Tehran skyline, Shutterstock

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3 thoughts on “Iran’s Water Woes More Worrying than War”

  1. Robert Jackson says:

    Mankind can not and will not live in peace. it is against his nature to love his neighbor like he loves himself. Mankind is a narcissist.

  2. I agree Matti. I wish everyone would put down their weapons and angry words and instead embrace friendship and – ultimately – survival. Hard hard times ahead I’m afraid. Thank goodness for all the “little guys” around the globe doing great work – the Captain Sunshines of the world.

  3. matti kones says:

    instead of investing in nuclear weapons development to destroy israel,as iran’s leaders claim all the time ,they should apply to israel for help in solving desertification related problems,such as water scarcity! israel already uses desalinated water from the sea through reverse osmosis plants attched to power plants ,using the waste heat of them and reducing thus the cost of the desalined water! in the sixties, israel has helped iran build water and agriculture infrastructure for the benefit of iranian people…why not to repeat this policy again if iranian leadershipchanges its stand towards israel..israelis are “infidels” to be killed or become muslims in order to survive! israelis and jews exist in this world to help develop it,with G-D’s help (whom they believe in…)!!!

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