Water Crisis in Iran: The Signs, Causes and Solutions

imageDespite having a more advanced water management system than most Middle Eastern countries, similar to the other countries in the region, Iran is experiencing a serious water crisis. The government blames the current crisis on the changing climate, frequent droughts, and international sanctions, believing that water shortages are periodic.

However, the dramatic water security issues of Iran are rooted in decades of disintegrated planning and managerial myopia. Iran has suffered from a symptom-based management paradigm, which mainly focuses on curing the problem symptoms rather than addressing the main causes.

This lecture with Dr. Kaveh Madani reviews the current status of water resources in Iran and recognizes three major causes for the current water crisis: (1) rapid population growth and inappropriate spatial population distribution; (2) inefficient agriculture sector; and (3) mismanagement and thirst for development.

Iran is faced with serious challenges in the water sector, including but not limited to rising water demand and shortage, declining groundwater levels, deteriorating water quality, and increasing ecosystem losses. If immediate actions are not taken to address these issues, the situation could become more tragic in the near future. Some crisis exit strategies are suggested for immediate adoption in order to secure sustainable water resources, if Iran does not want to lose its international reputation for significant success in water resources management over thousands of years in an arid area of the world.

Dr. Kaveh Madani is Lecturer at the Centre for Environmental Policy, The Imperial College London

Date: 6 February 2015, 16.00-18.00 

Venue: B419, Stockholm University

The lecture is organized by the Department of Social Anthropology and Forum for Asian Studies, Stockholm University. Please find more info here.