Iran water shortage threatens more than 500 cities
Beyond the headlines about the controversial nuclear deal with Iran, another crisis has serious implications for Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan and other cities. The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reports that more than 500 urban areas in Iran are struggling to maintain adequate drinking-water supplies. The shortages are blamed on a 20 percent decrease in precipitation compared to last year, likely caused by climate change.
Major lakes and rivers are drying at a “frightening rate,” the article says. Inadequate infrastructure, haphazard planning and a booming urban population also are cited as contributing to the scarcity.
“Water has gone from being a renewable resource to a growing human security issue in Iran,” the news agency states. The United Nations agrees with that assessment and has warned that Iran faces a decades-long crisis. In a rare concession, a former agriculture minister for Iran characterizes the environmental crisis as a greater threat than any current political or military challenge.