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Iran's water crisis reaches critical levels

Iran's political leadership must move quickly, and non-ideologically, to resolve the current water use crisis and avoid the possibility of mass migrations.
An Iranian woman walks with her daughter past an abandoned boat in Sikh Sar village at Hamoon wetland near the Zabol town, in southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan bordering Afghanistan on February 2, 2015. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI        (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

Al-Monitor reported in May 2014 that Iran faced an unprecedented water shortage, and now, a year later, the crisis has deteriorated to the point of raising the alarm that a large number of Iranians might be forced to migrate, including externally, to access water if workable solutions are not found in the next few years. Addressing this critical issue will require Iranian authorities to make crucial strategic decisions.

To appreciate the depth of the crisis, one can start with a closer look at statements by Issa Kalantari, adviser to Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, former minister of agriculture and head of the task force addressing the Urmia Lake crisis. Kalantari addressed a group of experts and reporters April 25 to highlight the various aspects of the ongoing disaster. He charged the country’s politicians with being in denial of the true dimensions of the water crisis and outlined some of the key issues:

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