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Putting Iran’s Water Transfer Project in Perspective

Circle of Blue reporter Codi Yeager’s thoughts on water transfer projects around the world.

Last week, Iran started construction on a $US 1.5 billion project that will transfer water from the Caspian Sea to the country’s arid central region.

It’s not the first time — other major water transfer projects move 2,110 million cubic meters (557 billion gallons) of water each year into this water-scarce region from basins where the resource is more abundant, according to a 2005 report by the National Research Council. The report also stated that population growth and the uneven distribution of water in Iran will likely create chronic water shortages, with the annual average per capita volume of renewable water estimated to drop from 2,000 cubic meters (528,000 gallons) to below 1,000 cubic meters (264,000 gallons) by 2025.

Iran water transfer
Infographic © Codi Yeager / Circle of Blue
Click the image to enlarge.

But Iran’s water transfer projects pale in comparison to China’s $US 62 billion South-North project, which Circle of Blue reported on last year. The feat is expected to transport 44.8 billion cubic meters (11.8 trillion gallons) of water annually from the southern Yangtze River Basin to dry regions in the north by 2050.

Other water transfer ideas floating around include a proposed pipeline from Tasmania to South Australia — capable of carrying 500 million cubic meters (132 billion gallons) of water. Meanwhile, some in the United Kingdom are calling for Welsh water to be sold and transported to drought-hit England, as my fellow Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton reported at the beginning of April.

China

China Photo Water Energy South-North Transport Project

London England drought paddington station domestic water use UK united kingdom billboard

Click on the first image above to enlarge a map and interactive graphic showing China’s South-North project. Click the second image above to launch the photo slideshow of the project by my fellow Circle of Blue reporter, Aaron Jaffe. The last image is a photo of an advertisement at Paddington Station, encouraging London residents to start using less water immediately — Circle of Blue’s assistant editor, Aubrey Ann Parker, asked her friends in the U.K. to send along photos of the drought in England via our Facebook account.

Do you have a water news story or photo you’d like to share with me concerning water transport systems? I’d love to see them. Email me at codi@circleofblue.org or comment below.

–Codi Yeager
Circle of Blue reporter

Source: ABC; BBC; National Research Council

Author: Codi Yeager-Kozacek  is a news correspondent for Circle of Blue based out of Hawaii. She co-writes The Stream, Circle of Blue’s daily digest of international water news trends. Her interests include food security, ecology and the Great Lakes.

Email: Codi Yeager-Kozacek  :: Follow on Twitter :: More Articles

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