Filling wells could help solving water problem?

The Ministry of Energy has announced that from June 2013 to May 2017, 32.7 thousand wells have been filled.

In recent decades, even though rainfall has decreased year after year, the use of water resources has been increasing. Population rise, lack of management, little development of agriculture and industry as well as digging of legal and illegal wells have turned this issue into a crisis.

Estimates from the Ministry of Energy show that 92% of water is used in agriculture, 6% for drinking and 2% is used in industries. The Ministry of Agriculture however disagrees and claims that only 60% of water resources are used in this sector.

Based on directives from the Ministry of Energy, the Tehran Regional Water Authority must shut down 1500 illegal wells during the current Iranian fiscal year (i.e. until 21 March 2018), 450 of which have already been filled. The Water and Sewage Department of Tehran is also seeking to set smart counters for legal wells.

The CEO of the Tehran Regional Water Authority, Mohammadreza Bakhtiari said: “In addition to shutting down illegal wells, legal wells must also be placed under control. Some legal wells have excess consumption. So far, 182 volume counters and 176 smart counters have been installed on wells with operation licenses in the province of Tehran.”

Based on estimates from the Geological Survey & Mineral Explorations of Iran, the usage of surface and underground waters are in order 40 and 56 billion cubic meters. One of the effects of excessive usage of underground waters is “land subsidence”.

Varamin Valley, in south of Tehran, where more than 3100 wells have been dug, suffers from land subsidence up to 3 meters.