Industrial wastewater is entering the wetland in Falahieyh (Shadegan) and that is concerning Falahieyh people.
Many of Aquatic are rare and indigenous fish are extinct due to salinity.
Unfortunately, the oil company extended to Azadegan oil field, and is the main factor of why Hoor-al-azim wetland is also drying up. The situation is a disastrous already but If Falahieyh city and Hoor-al-azim wetland dry up completely, Falahieyh will be in a chaos situation of sand storms and air pollution.
The Ministry of Energy also prevented the registration of the Hoor-al-azim wetland in the Ramsar Convention. If this happens, the Ministry of Energy will have to allocate water to it.
The wastewater is transported to Hoor-al-azim wetland containing heavily chemical metals. In any country, the wetlands are not filled by waste or sewage water as in Iran happens.
In contrary to provincial and state officials’ claims, only sugarcane wastewater and industries sewage has been entering Hoor-al-azim wetland and that is just a new political game by the Iranian regime (upcoming election), rather than environmental.
Perhaps it is a bit hard to imagine; but Iran, once was the founder of the first wetland/wetland conservation convention in the world, the Ramsar Convention, is now seizing the withdrawal of its wetlands from the list of the convention. The story began with Gavkhooni, Jazmourian, and Parishan wetland, and continued with the of Bakhtegan, Hamoon, the destruction of Hoor-al-azim, Anzali wetland, Saberi, Hirmand, Yadgarlou and dozens of other wetlands dried out. This time is Falahieyh turn to dry out; the wetland that is breathing its last breath.
Falahieyh ‘s last breath
The construction of eight dams in the watershed of Falahieyh wetland has led it to a dry up the Falahieyh wetland.
The volume of fresh water entering Falahieyh has reduced dramatically due to lower rainfall, droughts and water storage behind the Mooren dam. Reduction of fresh water has caused a change in the ecosystem of the wetland. The salty and semi-salty waters of Falahieyh, which were provided by the tidal waters of the sea and Karoon river, have fallen sharply.
Reduction of water entering Falahieyh isn’t the only story, industrial wastewater is entering the wetland in Falahieyh and that is concerning Falahieyh people.
Political dewatering, not environmental
Dewatering from Hoor-al-azim wetland and restoring Lake Urmia were one of Rouhani’s biggest propaganda maneuvers during the election.
Nasser Abbayat, an environmental activist in Ahwaz capital, said that “only agricultural and sewage sludge has been revenged in spite of provincial and state officials’ claims, and this is merely political, rather than environmental,”.
Wetlands that were dewatering by sewage!
Mr. Abbayat with emphasis on lack of fresh water in Falahieyh wetlands, continues: “The wastewater is transferred to Hoor-al-azim, contains heavy and chemical metals. In any country, wetlands are not dewatering by agricultural or sewage sludge. It is an unhealthy and irrational wastewater discharge that threatens public health in Falahieyh city. ”
Extinction of fish due to water disinfection/wastewater
Mr. Abbayat by pointing out that the amount of water released by the government is about 40 centimeters, said “It’s true, but when dewareing done with sugar cane wastewater, it’s going to have very adverse effects on the environment,”. Unfortunately, many aquatic fishes of the region are rare and indigenous fish are vanished due to the salinity of the water. ”
Ministry of Oil; is the main accuser of drying up Hoor-al-azim wetland
“In 1982, the area of Hoor-al-azim wetland was more than 90 thousand hectares, but after the coming of the ninth and tenth governments, unfortunately, the oil company extended to Azadegan oil field, and it is the main reason of Hoor-al-azim wetland’s drying up.
The oil company started from Yadavaran in Howeyzeh and continues to the Ahwazi (Iranianm) border, which is a joint oil field between Al-Ahwaz (Iran) and Iraq. The company has implemented many projects. According to the National Environmental Protection Agency of Iran, the area of Hoor-al-azim is 122 thousand hectares has been announced that about 70 thousand hectares dewatering by agricultural waste and chemical sewage as well as sugarcane project wastewater. If the government claimed that they have dewatering the wetland, I invite all reporters to visit the seven rivers that provides Hoor-al-azim. These rivers, which are the main supplier of water, are dry now, Mr. Abbayat said.
Drainage Sugarcane in Falahieyh wetland
Mr Abbayat added about the current situation in Falahieyh wetland: ” Falahieyh wetland is currently fed with sugarcane drainage. The Falahieyh wetland legal water is not assigned from the Al-Ahwaz rivers, and this is main cause of its drought in recent years. If Falahieyh and Hoor-al-azim completely dry up, the situation is a disastrous, Falahieyh city and its neighboring cities and villages will be facing salt and sand storms. It will be impossible to continue living in this places. ”
This environmental activist points out that the aquatic animals of the Shadegan wetland live in freshwater and cannot live with salt water in the wastewater of agriculture, “agriculture waste has increased the salinity of the water and, as a result, the death of many aquatic species, which are rare »
Many Ahwazi people who live near wetlands and marshes, have migrated to the cities in last two decades; one of the most important reasons for their migration is the problem of, sand storms.
He continued: “There are three sources for sand storms; internal, local, and foreign(external),”. Local origin is 15 kilometers in the area, but the internal origin is more effective than you imagine. ”
The Iraq’s wetlands is better than Iran
“Internal sand storms are due to dampness of wetlands and waterlessness,” he said. According to last year’s statistics, the status of Iraq’s wetlands adjacent to Khuzestan (part of Al-Ahwaz) is much better and more favorable than Iran. Currently, some of Iraq’s wetlands have been registered globally due to favorable conditions in the Ramsar Convention. ”
Ministry of Energy is the main obstacle to global registration of Hoor-al-azim
Instrumental thinking in the management of water resources has been the cause of the country’s demise. The water crisis and drought in Iran are the result of this overcoming of instrumental thinking. There have been many conflicts over the past few years for the registration the Hoor-al-azim wetland in the Ramsar Convention. Abbayat said: “Unfortunately, officials are unaware of this issue, and the Ministry of Energy also has prevented the registration of the Hoor-al-azim in the Ramsar Convention. They do not want to be an international registry, because if this happens, the Ministry of Energy will have to allocate river water to Falahieyh wetland. The Ministry of Energy should give the right to the Karkheh Dam, but the amount of water that is allocated to the Hoor-al-azim will be spent on agriculture. They do not dedicate separate legal water to the Hoor-al-azim. ”
Dried Wetlands in Khuzestan(part of Al-Ahwaz)
This environmental activist emphasizes that Falahieyh wetland, Hoor-al-azim wetland and many other rivers have been dampened, adding that “the situation in Karkheh is also concerning, also Karoon is in a very bad situation. ”
75 percent of the country’s wetlands are dry up
According to water researchers, the preferences of government, private sector executives about mismanagement of water resources are currently in the midst of a catastrophe. Out of 1,000 wetlands in Iran, according to the definition of the Ramsar Convention, 75% of Iran’s wetlands are either at critical situation or at risk.
All of this happens when the ecological value of wetlands is 10 times more forests and 200 times more agricultural land. According to statistics, the wetlands of the 30 countries are listed in the Montserrat Convention of Ramsar (red list), respectively, with Iran and Greece, with seven wetlands respectively, followed by the Czech Republic with four wetlands, with the highest Montserrat Convention of Ramsar (red list) wetlands. Also, the name of 27 wetlands in 17 countries has been removed from the list due to the improvement of the ecological conditions of their wetlands. According to researches, human interference is the main reason for the drying up of the country’s wetlands, which is also due to droughts.
Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights
Written by Ali Bouazar