Farmers in Esfahan (Isfahan) have held gatherings within the past few days to protest their water rights, demanding the reopening of the Zayandeh-Rud River.

The river has been a vital source for orchard irrigation in western Esfahan and agricultural use in the east.

In the current Iranian year that began in mid-March, eight separate water releases from the Zayandeh-Rud were carried out to irrigate crops and gardens in western Esfahan.

However, any potential continuation will rely on the formation of a new drought mitigation committee.

In recent days, farmers in eastern Isfahan have joined the protests, echoing their counterparts’ demands for the reopening of Zayandeh-Rud. The river, once a permanent waterway, has been transformed into an irrigation channel with sporadic water flow.

Environmental activists and experts are voicing concerns about the detrimental impact of the intermittent management, not only on the river’s ecosystem but also on the broader environment.

In recent decades, recurrent droughts and the extensive utilization of underground water and rivers by the agriculture and industrial sectors have significantly aggravated the water scarcity issue in Esfahan in central Iran.

The emphasis on achieving self-sufficiency in agriculture, which includes the cultivation of water-intensive crops like rice and other grains, has also been identified as a contributing factor to the region’s water challenges.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in 2000 and 2001, actively promoted population growth and the attainment of self-sufficiency in wheat and rice production as the primary agricultural objectives, further straining resources.

Source » iranintl