close button
Switch to Iranwire Light?
It looks like you’re having trouble loading the content on this page. Switch to Iranwire Light instead.
News

Tehran Parched by Water Shortages and Management Failures

June 16, 2023
Roghayeh Rezaei
3 min read
Tehran, Iran’s bustling capital and home to almost 9 million people, is grappling with a severe water shortage leaving its citizens in distress and even a bit parched
Tehran, Iran’s bustling capital and home to almost 9 million people, is grappling with a severe water shortage leaving its citizens in distress and even a bit parched
Summer temperatures in the city are already exceeding 30 degrees celsius and reports are spreading through social media channel of the hardships being endured
Summer temperatures in the city are already exceeding 30 degrees celsius and reports are spreading through social media channel of the hardships being endured
The water shortage is affecting every aspects of life, including staying hydrated, cooking, cleaning and even basic cooling
The water shortage is affecting every aspects of life, including staying hydrated, cooking, cleaning and even basic cooling
Images and videos circulating online show residents in Tehran and nearby Karaj unable to rely on a steady water supply, resorting to tankers dispatched by the Water and Sewerage Organization, or face the arduous task of collecting water from public taps
Images and videos circulating online show residents in Tehran and nearby Karaj unable to rely on a steady water supply, resorting to tankers dispatched by the Water and Sewerage Organization, or face the arduous task of collecting water from public taps

Tehran, Iran’s bustling capital and home to almost 9 million people, is grappling with a severe water shortage leaving its citizens in distress and even a bit parched. Summer temperatures in the city are already exceeding 30 degrees celsius and reports are spreading through social media channel of the hardships being endured.

Images and videos circulating online show residents in Tehran and nearby Karaj unable to rely on a steady water supply, resorting to tankers dispatched by the Water and Sewerage Organization, or face the arduous task of collecting water from public taps.

The water shortage is affecting every aspects of life, including staying hydrated, cooking, cleaning and even basic cooling.

The reports say that some parts of Tehran have experienced prolonged water scarcity lasting almost a week – and that residents did not have sufficient warning. Lack of prior notice has exacerbated the difficulties faced by residents, leaving them to endure the scorching heat without a reliable water source.

Officials from the Ministry of Energy and city managers say that a recent flood, which came after heavy rainfall, caused terrain shifts in the mountains and rendered a section of the Karaj dam inaccessible. Loss of access to the dam then stifled the water supply.

A resident in Tehran’s District 6 told IranWire that they had been experiencing water cuts for several hours every night over the past few days. 

"These disruptions were sudden and without prior notice, causing inconvenience and frustration," the resident said, adding that one water cut came in the middle of a shower.

Another citizen residing in Shahryar, in the western suburbs of Tehran, also reported intermittent water cuts at both their home and workplace. 

They expressed concern over the depletion of mineral water supplies in supermarkets and the need to rely on water tankers that visit neighborhoods during the da – and said they doubted the situation was only temporary.

Mehdi Ketabchi, a water researcher of Iranian background living in the United States, explained to IranWire that water shortages are a recurring issue in the country and affect not only drinking supplies but also agricultural needs. Summer is a particularly difficult period, he said. 

This problem is attributed to what Ketabchi terms "water bankruptcy," a term describing the worsening water crisis that the country grapples with each year.

Iran's "water bankruptcy" stems from multiple factors, including population growth, overexploitation of underground resources, and the impacts of climate change. 

Additionally, the country's aging infrastructure, dating back 50 to 60 years, coupled with a lack of investment in water management, contributes to water inefficiency. 

Unpredictable events like the recent flood, which the government attributes as the immediate cause of the water crisis in the capital and Karaj, are influenced by both human and management failures.

"While such landslides are unexpected, we are witnessing a socio-economic drought in Iran and Tehran. This means that water exists in dams or wells, but it cannot be effectively used," he said. 

As an advisor to the Maryland state government on water affairs, Ketabchi added that, "The primary problem in Tehran is the lack of proper dredging of dams. If dredging had been carried out correctly, or at all, the current problems in west Tehran might have been mitigated."

"Water sources in Tehran come in two forms: dams and underground wells. Fortunately, if the dams are properly dredged, the water quality is good," he said. 

comments

News

Gunman Attacks Isfahan Prison and Police

June 16, 2023
1 min read
Gunman Attacks Isfahan Prison and Police