(Persia Digest) – The research center of the Iranian Parliament has published a report warning against the water crisis in Iran, saying that this is now at the center of people’s daily lives, leading to the start of social unrests.

Previous reports were mostly focused on excessive water consumption by the agricultural sector and its consequences for the environment as 90 percent of water resources in Iran were used by farmers.

A photo of people protesting the water crisis in Khuzestan Province. The placard reads “Do not turn Khuzestan into hell by transferring its water.”

In its latest report, however, the Parliament warns that large parts of rural and urban populations are feeling the shortages of drinking water and the situation will only exacerbate in three years from now.

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The report titled “The latest status of drinking water in Iran” says: “Due to low levels of precipitation in the summer of 2018 (Precipitation year 2017-2018), large regions of Iran suffered from shortages of drinking water. The summer saw a drinking water crisis in 36.8 percent (46 percent of the entire population) among the rural and urban population.”

The drinking water crisis for the summer of 2018 in shown in the following table.

Crisis level

No of cities


Yellow (10% shortage at peak consumption)



Orange (20% shortage at peak consumption)



Red (20% shortage at peak consumption)






The research center of the Iranian Parliament indicates that out of the total number of 61.6 million people living in the cities, an estimated 34.5 million are in danger of a drinking water crisis.

The report continues by forecasting a bleak future for Iran without taking into consideration reduced rainfall, increased water usage in agriculture, etc.

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According to this forecast, by assuming that the current trend continues for another 3 years, the population that is suffering a water crisis in Iran will increase by 15 million.


Situation by 2021

Drinking water for population per million


No of cities affected by drinking water crisis


Population affected by drinking water crisis per million


Shortage at peak consumption (m3/sec)


Reservoir deficiency (m3/sec)


The report also says that, in addition to consequences for the people and environment, the water crisis can turn into a security issue and unrests may erupt in some cities, such as Abadan, Khorramshahr, Borazjan, Kazerun, Bushehr, and most cities in Isfahan Province.

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