Iran Colloquium: Iran’s Water Bankruptcy

Friday, February 28, 12 noon to 1 pm, at the Henry R. Luce Hall 202, 34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut. Hosted by the Yale Council on Middle East Studies.

Frequent droughts coupled with over-abstraction of surface and groundwater through a large network of hydraulic infrastructure and deep wells have escalated Iran’s water situation to a critical level. This is evidenced by drying lakes, rivers and wetlands, declining groundwater levels, land subsidence, water quality degradation, soil erosion, desertification, and more frequent dust storms.

In this seminar, Kaveh Madani overviews the major drivers of Iran’s water problems. He argues that Iran is suffering from a socio-economic drought – i.e., “water bankruptcy,” where water demand exceeds the natural water supply significantly. Madani believes that the current structure of the water governance system and the food-dependence paranoia in Iran leaves minimal hope for a meaningful reform that can address Iran’s water problems in a timely manner.

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