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Iran water shortage threatens more than 500 cities

Drought has been a longstanding concern in Iran, with this photograph taken in 2012 in Isfahan. Today's water shortage is being described as one of the country's most pressing concerns. (Loizeau/Flickr/cc)

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. 

Islamic Republic News Agency

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