As lakes become deserts, drought is Iran’s new problem

Iranian boys sit on the roof of a mud-house in the village of Adimi situated in the once exceptional wetlands of Lake Hamoon, now sand-baked earth

Nazar Sarani’s village in southeast Iran was once an island. It is now a desert, a casualty of the country’s worsening water crisis.

“We live in the dust,” said the 54-year-old cattle herder of his home in the once exceptional biosphere of Lake Hamoun, a wetland of varied flora and fauna, which is now nothing but sand-baked earth.

Climate change, with less rainfall each year, is blamed, but so too is human error and government mismanagement.

Iran’s reservoirs are only 40 percent full according to official figures, and nine cities including the capital Tehran are threatened with water restrictions after dry winters.

The situation is more critical in Sistan-Baluchistan, the most dangerous area in Iran, where a Sunni minority is centred in towns and villages that border Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Only 15 years ago, Hamoun was the seventh largest wetland in the world, straddling 4,000 square kilometres (1,600 square miles) between Iran and Afghanistan, with water rolling in from the latter’s Helmand river.

But with dams since built in Afghanistan as well as other blocked pathways holding back the source of Hamoun’s diversity, the local economy has collapsed.

Some 3,000 families whose lifeline was fishing have left and young people head to other provinces for work…

See also this piece from last year.

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  • David

    Iran’s reservoirs are only 40 percent full according to official figures, and nine cities including the capital Tehran are threatened with water restrictions after dry winters.

    Bomb them.

  • UCSPanther

    Sounds like Ayatollahs want to ape the Soviet Union in the worst way…

  • ntt1

    climate change is cited even as the article states that two dams built in Afghanistan have shut down the inflow. this is not about climate change it is about Islamic ignorance of cause and effect. it illustrates the weakness of Islamic cultures, take out what remains of their reservoir capacity and target distribution centres and it will be all over.

  • winniec

    They spent too much on making a bomb and not enough on providing for the people. I pray a military leader like al Sisi will emerge to arrest the mullahocracy, change the constitution and call new elections.

    All Islamic-majority countries need to ban religion-based parties in government.

    • Destroyer-Drone

      Iran can only find salvation by linking up with its Persian heritage and fully rejecting islam. This Shi’a caliphate is the worst enemy of Persia, the slow death of Cyruses tomb at Pasagardae (thanks to the Sivand Dam) is a testimony to that.

  • Destroyer-Drone

    May Iran drown under an ocean of sand.

    • tom_billesley

      Ozymandias springs to mind.

    • mobuyus

      An ocean of Persian sand.

  • Whose fault is it that those in charge cannot manage things competently?

    • Clausewitz

      Shouldn’t the enviro whacko’s be screaming about this mismanagement of the resources? Well, well? ((crickets)).

    • Maggat

      “Climate change, with less rainfall each year, is blamed, but so too is human error and government mismanagement.”
      I’d say the last two words of the above quote is the explanation.

      • Yes. Climate change is a more plausible reason for drought.

        (sarcasm function disabled)

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        Any chance they get to build in climate change they do.
        I’d prefer clamato change.
        The one with horseradish is pretty good.

  • cmh

    Iranians don’t drink water anyway, they drink camel urine.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Nuclear power (peaceful) is good solution to the enormous energy demands that desalination requires.