"Dry Tsunami", a Looming Disaster for Iran

NCRI Staff

NCRI - It’s nearly four decades since the Iranian regime came to power, and water scarcity has turned to an imminent disaster as well as a social crisis, so that according to regime’s head of National Security Committee, “the country’s water crisis has practically raised into a security issue.”

More than 40 thousand Iranian villages have become inhabited, with their once residents now living in misery and poverty in marginal areas of big cities.

Regime officials acknowledge that close to 94 percent of the country is suffering different degrees of drought, and that the three provinces of Khuzestan, Qom, and North Khorasan are almost entirely affected with severe and extremely severe drought.

The situation has deteriorated so much that head of regime’s Department of Environment ‘Isa Kalantari’ acknowledges the disaster, saying “no enemy would’ve done what we did to our natural resources and the environment, were they ruling Iran during these years.”

While Kalantari as an advisor to regime’s president Hassan Rouhani has made these comments, he himself is responsible for the current disaster. As Agriculture Minister, Kalantari was hand in hand with regime’s water mafia during 1989-2002, being directly involved in plundering the country’s resources by adopting an excessive dam-building and water well drilling policy under the pretext of supporting farmers.

“The country’s annual water input is 88 billion cubic meters, while the annual water consumption is 97 billion cubic meters. This has caused the exploitation of the country’s renewable water resources to reach 110 percent, which is quite deplorable.” says Kalantari.

Forced to reveal the country’s ‘water mafia’, Kalantari then says “undoubtedly, many knew since three decades ago that the country’s water policies were wrong, but they decided to remain silent and not to protest.”

“Our pundits’ silence with regard to our wrong water policies has cost the country bankruptcy in the water sector. Many officials refused to oppose the country’s wrong water policies and even stepped forward in favor, since those policies served to raise their profits.”

“Major blows have been dealt to the country’s environment and natural resources over the past decades, so that Iran is now among the countries with the highest rate of soil erosion, exploitation of water resources, desertification, and so forth. Today, there’s not a single living wetland or lake in the country.”

“We wonder why there’s an increased volume of haze in the country. We have to admit that Iranian cheetah is doomed to extinction, just like many other Iranian extinct species. The number of Iranian cheetahs has dropped from 112 to just 47. That’s because they can’t find food, since the plant eating animals included in cheetah’s diet are missing as there’s no proper vegetation for them to feed on.” (State-run ISNA news agency, October 15, 2017)

Although the confessions by head of regime’s Department of Environment are by themselves quite illustrative and no further explanation is needed, but referring to other acknowledgements mad by state media describing the current situation of Iran’s environment could help better understand the disaster:

- In an article titled “94 percent of the country is struggling with drought”, the state-run ISNA news agency writes on August 9, 2017, “while maintaining that there’s no single area in the country that is untouched in the long run by some degree of drought, head of Meteorological Organization’s National Center for Drought and Crisis Management acknowledges that nearly 95 percent of the country is suffering from drought, of which 11 percent is mild, 39 percent is medium, 33 percent is severe, and 13 percent is too severe, and that only half a percent of the country is experiencing wet years.”

- State-run Shabestan news agency released an article titled “the story of Yazd Province’s drought” on October 14, 2017, writing”more than 226 thousand people in 333 villages across Yazd province have access to healthy water. But due to recent years’ drought and water shortages, supplying water for more than 81 thousand people in 295 villages is carried out using 455 fixed and 16 portable water tanks.”

- State-run Ghods-Online news agency headlines “Dry Tsunami ravages Kerman: where’s the officials’ effort?” on October 14, 2017, writing “While Kerman’s water supply is on the alert level and aside from the official’s surprising and historic ignorance towards addressing water scarcity in the province, there’s still an ongoing excessive exploitation of the province’s water resources and the main part of the country’s agricultural products are produced in a province which is faced with a water supply challenge.

According to a regime’s MP from Kerman, supplying water for nearly 800 villages in Kerman province is now carried out using water tanks, and the number of drought affected villages which are losing their population is increasing on a daily basis. If nothing is done about the province’s water supply problem, living conditions in the province will be faced with a major challenge in the next five years, so that even drinking water will be supplied with difficulty.

It’s been predicted that due to an ongoing drought, Kerman province will be faced with new major challenges such as increased immigration, marginal settlements, and so forth.”

In a statement regarding the country’s water disaster, Iran’s Council of Resistance maintains that “rather than making optimal use of the country’s available resources, capitalizing on four seasons’ opportunities, and harnessing solar and wind energy, the Iranian regime is squandering country’s wealth on oppression, war, and exporting terrorism.”

“The fact is that without effective investment in the country’s water sector, modernization of agricultural irrigation system, and banning the Revolutionary Guards from making dams, and as long as Khamenei keeps squandering the wealth belonging to Iranian people on cross border interventions and costly wars, not only the country’s water crisis won’t be resolved, but it will deteriorate as well, and the ultimate liberation from the most dangerous enemy of Iranian people won’t be possible but through a total collapse of the regime.”