Iran has long been faced with a wide range of environmental challenges. These include everything from drought leading to soil erosion and sandstorms to water shortages and air pollution in major cities. However, it has only been in recent years that officials and experts alike have publicly called for genuine measures to slow down the damage to the environment.
This spring, Reza Ardakanian, Iran’s energy minister, announced that the current Iranian year (which began March 21) would be the driest in the past 50 years. The reduction of rainfall in the country has been so significant that officials have repeatedly spoken of the possibility of water shortages in some parts of the country during the summer if consumption is not managed properly. Indeed, despite the recent rainfalls across Iran, official figures indicate that the rainfall in the current water-year is 41% lower than the previous Iranian year, and 59% lower than the average over the past 49 years.