In The Name Of God. Water Resource& Policies. Country Report from Iran. S. Shirzad. Ministry of Energy Water Resources Management Company. Aug. 2007. Water Resources Potentials and Related Issues Major challenges and Trends in Iranian Water Resources Management
• The country’s population increase:from 10 millions in 1920 to more than 69 millions in 2006 (about 7 times )• At presentIran is the 17th most populated countries in the world• by the end of 2050Iran will be classified as one of the 10 most populated regions in the world (based on the UN data ) • Therefore the need for water has been increased but still the quantity of water is not adequate.
Population Growth and Water Scarcity
•Total land area of the country : 165 Mha
• Cultivable area : 37 Mha
• Actual cultivated area : 19 Mha
• Forests area: 12.4 Mha
• Pastures, mountains and deserts area: 89.2 Mha
• Irrigated erea: 8 Mha
• Rain-fed land erea: 6 Mha
• fallow land area: 4.5 Mha
• under surface irrigation: 7.6 Mha (95%)
• under the pressurized irrigation: 0.4 Mha (5%)
Iran’s climate varies from region to region:
•The winter temperatures in the mountainous areas of the north-west drop as low as -29˚C
• The Khuzestan Plain has extremely hot humid summer with an average temperature of about 35˚C
•Most of the interior plateau has a dry climate, but the winters are mild and pleasant.
•Iran has 8 climatic zones varying from very dry to very wet.
•The average annual precipitation is 250 mm and the range (varies from 50 mm to more than 1600 mm )
•Based on the average annual precipitation, Iran’s climate is classified among the semi-arid and arid.
Six major water basins and Rate of precipitation
Major catchment Basins location
According to studies carried out for formulation of the Iran Water Comprehensive Plan, the main characteristics of annual precipitation and its conversion to water resources are shown:
Annual Water Resources in Billion Cubic Meters
Return Water from Consumption 29 BCM
Supreme Water Council, presided by the President of Iran
Governance (Ministry of Energy)
Deputy Minister for Water Affairs (Iran Water Resources Management Company)
Regional Water Companies
Deputy Minister for Water & Wastewater Affairs (Water & Wastewater Engineering Company)
Provincial Water & Wastewater companies
Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture
Ministry of Industry
Mines, Ministry of Urban Development
Environmental Protection Organization, …
126 Consultant firms
216 ContractorsElements of Water Management
Urban Population Access to Potable Water (Percent)
Rural Population Access to Potable Water (Percent)
Less than 24
Population Covered by Urban Water Services (million) 39
No. of Cities under Service 650
Percent of Population under Service(%) 97.8
Supplied Water (MCM) 6845
Total Length of Water Distribution Network (km) 80000
No. of Subscribers 7,800,000
No. of Water Treatment Plants 90Urban Water and Sanitation
Excessive withdrawal of groundwater resources
Demand Management in accordance to priorities set in the National Water Plan
Assessment of total value and cost of water relevant to each basin
Pollution of water resources and its economic and environmental consequences
Efficiency in water irrigation systems
Risk Management of water related natural disaster ( i. e. drought and flood)
Implementation of National Integrated Water Resources Management
Efficient and equitable water price for various uses
Land use planning
Unaccounted for water (UFW)2. Major challenges and Trends in Iranian Water Resources Management
Long-Term Development Strategies for Iran’s Water Resources
Creation of Water Related Councils
Strengthening Scientific and Practical Skills and Potentials
Promotion of sustainable development and environmental views in water resources management
The 4th Development Program of the Country-Water Sector3. Recent Approaches and Water Policies
In order to solve the challenges Iran has developed some important and strategic plans which are as follow:
3. 1. Promotion of Private Investment in Water Projects
3. 2. Long-Term Development Strategies for Iran’s Water Resources
With respect to the great social and economical development role that water resources have in the country, a code of conduct which have illustrated the future water strategies, have been prepared. According to the challenges, it has been planned to increase irrigation network efficiency in such way to decrease agricultural share of water from 92 percent to less than 87 percent within the next 20 years. Since water pollution is now considered as one of the major issues of concern in recent decades, it has been planned that strict control of wastewater discharge to the environment is going to be respected in all aspects. Promotion of public awareness activities in order to increase people’s share in conservation of water resources is also planned to be part of the future goals of water resources strategies in the country.
3. 3. Strengthening Scientific and Practical Skills and Potentials
In order to strengthen regional cooperation, the Regional Center on Urban Water Management (RCUWM-Tehran) was established in 200 1 with collaboration of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Duties of the RCUWM-Tehran are to promote the transfer of technical knowledge and experience and to promote awareness and capacities in all aspects of urban water management .
3. 4. Creation of Water Related Councils
Due to the relevant increasing demand potential over water resources and the importance of this valuable source, the Supreme Council of Water, which is headed by the president, is responsible to coordinate the future strategies of Iran’s water resources. Furthermore various organizations and NGOs are also active in different parts of the country to cooperate with governmental body in order to better implement the conducted strategies.
3. 5. Promotion of sustainable development and environmental views in water resources management
On the basis of sustainable development approaches. economic development will be desirable. only when it is not followed by environmental damages and exhaustion of natural resources which the coming generations will need.
Ministry of Energy (Water Resources Management Company) has always tried its best to pay attentions to environmental issues sustainable development. Therefore offices related to environmental affairs and sustainable development has been established in headquarter and provisional water authorities in order to guarantee that all its activities would follow environmental friendly concept .
In addition to executing development plans & supplying water through dams construction, considerations of IWRM, EIA and sustainable development should be taken into attention.
How to Reach?
The long-term development strategiesare on the basis of IWRM deserve to respond:
• Economic efficiency • Water for food and social security • Water for environment and sustainable development
The Fourth Development Program consists of a Water sector in which 6 qualitative and 19 quantitative goals are considered. of the main qualitative goals the tailoring could be mentioned:
- Integration and reconstruction of the management institutions - Development and exploitation of water resources in the framework of sustainable development- Mobilizing more financial resources to increase investment rate on water projects- Strengthening public contributions- Enhancing water economy efficiency
Average Annual Growth (%)
Dams Regulated Capacity
Small Water Supply Plans
Main Irrigation Networks
River and Coast Training
Quantitative and Qualitative Water Resources Studies
Qualitative Water Resources Monitoring
Domestic Water-Urban and Rural