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Khuzestan water crisis and what it means for angry locals

Yusef Jalali
Press TV, Khuzestan


Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan has been the scene of protests over water shortage, triggered by an unprecedented drought in decades.

The crisis has dealt a blow to agriculture and livestock farming. Iranian authorities blame the crisis on the worst drought in half a century that slashed rainfall by 50-percent compared to the previous year.

This as experts blame the situation on unscientific dam construction on three major rivers of Karkheh, Karoun and Dez, that have choked the flow of water toward the strategic Howeizeh Marshland.

The extraction of water from Khuzestan rivers to arid provinces such as Isfahan is another factor that exacerbated the crisis.

The drought has also seen rolling blackouts over the past month in areas that run on hydroelectric power, including the capital Tehran.

Over the past week, delegations from the government and parliament have been visiting the affected areas to review the situation. In one if its latest measures, the government has opened the valves of Karkheh and Dez dams, which has partly filled the river beds.

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