Iran is facing growing warnings that its deteriorating water crisis could eventually undermine its food security.
Renowned American environmental analyst Lester Brown has warned that Iran needs to revise its food security policies by taking into consideration the future impacts of environmental changes.
“This is not something that only the minister of agriculture should handle,” Brown has told Iran’s Persian-language newspaper Ta’adol.
“It is necessary for all institutions inside Iran’s government to come up with a package of agricultural, irrigation and farming policies to maximize the country’s food security”.
Brown said the ancient dynamics of what is known as the Fertile Crescent are changing as the result of global warming as well as Turkey’s management policies over Tigris and Euphrates – the key rivers that form a major river system in Western Asia.
The Fertile Crescent comprises the land in and around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the countries that fall into it include Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Cyprus, and Egypt, besides the southeastern fringe of Turkey and the western fringes of Iran
Brown further said waning water supplies and rising population comprise two serious problems that the countries of the Middle East are currently facing with regards to the prospects of their food security.
“As for Iran, a main challenge is that nobody is taking the looming water shortage crisis seriously. That is the reason why there is no specific planning to deal with it properly,” Ta’adol has further quoted him as saying.
“In fact, none of the Middle Eastern countries have done any proper food security planning that would be based on a rising population and waning water supplies”.
Iran said in early March that it had formed special headquarters to deal with what is feared to be an impending water crisis in the country.
Experts believe that Iran faces several key challenges in the water sector that include rising water demand, dwindling groundwater levels, deteriorating water quality, and increasing ecosystem losses.
Officials blame Iran’s water crisis on the changing climate and frequent droughts. However, they have also warned that careless consumption is already deteriorating the situation.
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