Watershed Management and the Iranian Water Crisis

More than 50 million Iranians may need to flee their country over the next decades due to water management issues.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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You may not know this but according to UNICEF, around 2.2 billion people around the world currently lack access to safely managed drinking water services. In addition, the UN estimates that 3.2 billion people live in agricultural areas with high to very high water shortages or scarcity

Iran, for instance, has now lost approximately 85% of its natural groundwater resources, due to over-pumping and excessive dam and well building. If the issue cannot be fixed many experts predict that more than 50 million Iranians may need to flee their country over the next 20 to 30 years due to lack of access to water.

To avoid this outcome, Iranian leaders need to manage their remaining water resources through a process known as watershed management. A watershed, or drainage basin, is an area of land that channels groundwater, rainfall, and snowmelt to creeks, streams, and rivers, and then to a common outflow point like reservoirs, bays, or the sea.

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A properly-managed watershed will ensure not only the highest quality water is provided for a population but will also prevent floods and droughts. How do you manage watersheds? What are some examples of efficient water management? We answer these questions and more in our video.

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