Drought: Iranian Vice President Issa Kalantari on Thursday that his country had suffered the worst drought in half a century during the past years.
He expressed pessimism that the crisis was due to worsen in the future.
“In 2017, we had the worst water crisis in the past 50 years and all Iranians must now prepare themselves for arid times,’’ Kalantari said, according to the country’s ISNA news agency.
Kalantari, who was once Iran’s agriculture minister, once famously said that water scarcity, if left unaddressed, would make Iran uncomfortable, that 50 million of its people would leave the country.
The vice president said that, in order to protect Iran’s agriculture, all 81 million citizens would have to learn to use less water: “Even 1 litre less water would make an enormous difference.’’
When Iran was attempting to become self-sufficient in food production after the 1979 revolution, the government encouraged farmers to plant thirsty crops like wheat with a series of subsidy programmes.
The resulting extraction of groundwater has led to a depletion rate that is among the fastest in the world.