Due to a decline in rainfall this year, between 220 and 250 Iranian cities will face water shortages in the summer of 2021, according to the Water and Wastewater Company of Iran.

The latest Energy Ministry statistics show that the amount of rainfall in Iran in 2020-2021 decreased by 38 percent compared to last year, and by 29 percent compared to the long-term average.

In an interview with IRNA on March 14, Hamid Reza Kashefi, deputy director of supervision and operation at the Water and Wastewater Company of Iran, said the government had taken action to reduce hydroelectric production, which would to some extent prevent the draining of dams.

Statistics also show that this slowdown has caused Iran’s hydroelectric power generation to decrease by more than 28 percent between April 2020 and February 2021 compared to the same period last year, and the country's electricity imports have more than doubled as a result.

Kashefi said one of the problems in preventing reconstruction of the country's water network, which is 25 years old, is that 20 percent of the length of the network should be rebuilt every year, but this does not happen because companies cannot charge people for services. The Energy Ministry has announced that the cost of water production in Iran is almost twice the average selling price of water.

The largest drop in rainfall occurred in the eastern regions of the country, with rainfall declining to one-fifth of last year’s amount. But in the southern regions of Iran the situation is different. Khuzestan is one of the provinces that has battled the flooding of residential areas in recent years, even as a parliamentary report says 800 villages in this province are facing water shortages.

Last autumn at least seven people died in Bushehr and Hormozgan provinces as a result of floods. A lack of proper infrastructure to regulate surface water has exacerbated the water crisis in the country.

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