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Iran’s capital struggling with low water storage levels

Iranian officials warn of a potential water shortage in the capital Tehran in the coming weeks.

Iran’s Energy Ministry has warned that there could be a water shortage in the capital Tehran in the coming weeks as reservoir storage levels have dropped to historic lows amid a third consecutive dry year.

Energy Ministry officials on Sunday said in various interviews given to local news agencies that they were worried about dwindling water supplies in Tehran as they warned that cuts may be necessary in the coming weeks if households, businesses and industries continue to consume water at current record levels.  

A local water official shown on state TV giving a live account of water supply and demand figures said that consumption in Tehran was at above 40 cubic meters per second (m3/s) which he said matched record highs reported over the summer.

The figures showed that water reaching reservoirs in Tehran province was around 30 m3/s while total reservoirs storage in the area was nearly 740 m3, down by around 50% from the same day last year.

Other official said Tehran had experienced zero precipitation for a first time in 50 years in the calendar month to October 22.

“It is the third consecutive dry year in the country. Annual precipitation was 205 millimeters last (calendar) year and 208 millimeters in the previous year which is much lower than normal figures,” said Issa Bozorgzadeh, head of Iranian Energy Ministry’s Office for Macro-Planning of Water Resources.

Official figures showed that total water behind five dams located around Tehran was 351 million m3, down by 80 m3 from October 23 last year and a decline of 433 m3 compared with the long-run average.

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