When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

blog

Iran Facing Critical Water Shortage, Prayer Habits Blamed

Iran Facing Critical Water Shortage, Prayer Habits Blamed

Iran is facing the risk of "critical" water shortages if the country does not dramatically cut water use, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian declared in a speech to the Iranian parliament.

Citing several years of drought, climate change and increased population, Chitchian told legislators on Sunday that usage needed to drop by by 40%. Average annual rainfall had fallen from 250 mm to 242 in the preceding decade, while the country's "renewable" water reserves had dropped from 130 to 120 billion cubic meters, Jaam-e Jam, the newspaper of the state broadcaster, reported.

The effects of climate change have been mounting in Iran, most of whose territory is either desert or prone to desertification. The Minister noted that there were 4,000 liters of water per head in Iran at the time of the 1979 revolution, a ration which has since dropped to 1,700 liters. Iran's population has more than doubled in this same period from around 30 million to more than 70 million, though the rate of increase has slowed in recent years.

With marshlands and underground waters drying up, Chitchian said, more farmers were striking wells illegally, which exacerbated shortages. Some 6,500 villages or rural districts receive their water by truck.

The newspaper also cited Khosrow Erteqai, head of the local water agency in Tehran, as saying the capital was facing its worst water shortage in 46 years. Ertegai said increasing population and a construction boom were partly to blame, but the bigger problem was wastefulness.

"Right now in Tehran water consumption is twice the global norm," he said. Some people he added, used "four to 4.5 liters of water" for their ablutions before prayers — of which there are a five a day.

"You can do your ablutions with half a liter," Ertegai said.

Ahmad Shayegan

Photo: Bai Yu/Xinhua/ZUMA

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Geopolitics

How Ukraine Keeps Getting The West To Flip On Arms Supplies

The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

U.S fighter jets ready for takeoff on the USS Nimitz

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — In what other war have arms deliveries been negotiated so openly in the public sphere?

On Monday, a journalist asked Joe Biden if he plans on supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. He answered “No”. A few hours later, the same question was asked to Emmanuel Macron, about French fighter jets. Macron did not rule it out.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest