With Iran facing major water shortages through its rivers, the availability of its groundwater resources is vastly becoming a problem. Found underground in between rock and soil layers, groundwater is mostly accessible through wells or natural springs.
Depending on the climate of the region, the local geology, the land use, and the water quality, these will all affect the availability of groundwater resources. The issue of land subsidence in the region is also adding to the lack of water, leaving the water shortage issues reaching crisis levels.
Dr. Khalil Khani said, “Environmentalists and land experts are emphasizing the need to review the operation of wells, groundwater withdrawal, and water resources management. Some 29 provinces of 31 are currently at risk of subsidence. If this trend doesn’t stop, there will regrettably be great irreversible environmental degradation.”
The only immediate way out of this environmental crisis is to ban the excess extraction of groundwater, perform a critical review of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) dam construction program, and implement a plan to carefully maintain what reserves are available.
Flash floods have devastated Iran during the Iranian regime’s four decades in power, but the regime has no plan or made any attempts to collect the water to add to their reserves. Since they took power following the 1979 revolution in Iran, the mismanagement of natural resources has been rife and now the country is facing the consequences of their lack of forward planning.
Dr. Khalil Khani said, “Groundwater exploitation has dramatically been increased over the past decades leading to aquifer depletion. Now, this condition has caused the creation of massive cracks in more than 405 Iranian plains, such as in Fars, southwestern Iran, the central provinces of Isfahan and Markazi, and the capital Tehran, to name a few.”
The Iranian government is desperate to lay the blame elsewhere for the water crisis, claiming that the reason for the shortages is due to persistent droughts. In reality, the cause is their plundering of water resources, the IRGC’s dam construction project, and their man-made environmental crises, such as deforestation and desertification.
The levels of some of Iran’s aquifers have dropped by 100 centimeters over the past few decades. The digging of illegal wells and the use of improper irrigation methods are greatly adding to the depletion of groundwater resources. Of the 609 plains in Iran, it is estimated that over 300 of them are sinking rapidly as a result.
Dr. Khalil Khani said, “Water shortages have created many conflicts, but these conflicts are not between locals in various provinces.”
The biggest conflict is that between the regime and the Iranian people, who have been forced to stand back and watch their country suffer at the hands of the corrupt, violent government. An indication of the extent of this conflict was seen in the recent farmer protests in Khuzestan and Isfahan. The farmers protested for their rights to access much-needed water to maintain their land, and while the regime is to blame for the problems which led to the protests, they retaliated in the only way they know-how, to violently crackdown on rallies rather than find solutions.
Dr. Khalil Khani said, “Iran’s environmental crisis is not only limited to inside the country’s borders. It will spill over and contribute to the global environmental crisis. And of course, this will not be resolved as long as the clerics are in power.”