Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

11 Injured in Protests Over Water Scarcity, Pollution in Southwest Iran

Climate
Water scarcity protests have erupted in Khuzestan in Southwest Iran. Nahankhaneh / CC BY-SA 3.0

Protests erupted in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan this weekend over concerns about water shortages and polluted drinking water in the region, Al Jazeera reported Monday.


On Saturday evening, 11 people were injured when a gunman opened fire on demonstrators in the city of Khorramshahr. And on Sunday, officials dispersed a demonstration in the nearby city of Abadan for "disrupting public order," the state-run news agency IRNA said, according to Al Jazeera.

Protests over water scarcity in the region began peacefully on Friday, The Associated Press reported, but escalated over the weekend to rock throwing and confrontations with security forces.

IRNA said that demonstrators in Abadan set fire to trash cans and a vehicle and threw projectiles before the authorities moved in.

Consultative Assembly Representative Javad Kazemsab told the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) that farmers in Khuzestan were short on water for irrigation. He also said youth unemployment was high and urged the government to step in and provide jobs.

Two-hundred and thirty people have also been poisoned by polluted water in the region, Iran's Fars news agency reported, according to The Associated Press.

Shahrokh Refaei, the head of crisis management in Khuzestan's Ramhormoz county, said the poisonings came after a 20-hour water outage and occurred because the restored water was not treated with chlorine.

Khuzestan is a majority Arab province that was devastated by the Iran-Iraq war and has long complained of discrimination by the national government, according to Al Jazeera.

However, Al Jazeera pointed out that the current water issues are a more than local problem. They come as a drought has devastated 40 percent of Iran since December 2017, according to Tehran's Financial Tribune. The period from September to December 2017 was the driest in the country in 67 years.

The Khuzestan protests come nearly six months after protests in January across the country over unemployment and income inequality lead to nearly two-dozen deaths, according to Al Jazeera.

Scientific American said that climate change was was also a factor in those national protests, since rising temperatures, drought and water mismanagement had made life more difficult for family farms.

Current president Hassan Rouhani also threatened to cut subsidies for families who had a hard time feeding themselves because of environmental conditions.

"You have climate change, shortage of water, they can't grow their crops, and now they're getting their cash handouts taken away," Atlantic Council South Asia Center Senior Fellow Amir Handjani told Scientific American in January. "It's a panoply of issues coming together at once."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Samantha Hepburn

In the expansion of its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara, Rio Tinto blasted the Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 — Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These sites had deep historical and cultural significance.

Read More Show Less
Meadow Lake wind farm in Indiana. Anthony / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

The first official tallies are in: Coronavirus-related shutdowns helped slash daily global emissions of carbon dioxide by 14 percent in April. But the drop won't last, and experts estimate that annual emissions of the greenhouse gas are likely to fall only about 7 percent this year.

Read More Show Less
Andrey Nikitin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

Plants are awesome. They brighten up your space and give you a living thing you can talk to when there are no humans in sight.

Turns out, having enough of the right plants can also add moisture (aka humidify) indoor air, which can have a ton of health benefits.

Read More Show Less
A bald eagle chick inside a nest in Rutland, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
A bald eagle nest with eggs has been discovered in Cape Cod for the first time in 115 years, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Mass Wildlife), as Newsweek reported.
Read More Show Less
The office of Rover.com sits empty with employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 in Seattle, Washington. John Moore / Getty Images

The office may never look the same again. And the investment it will take to protect employees may force many companies to go completely remote. That's after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for how workers can return to the office safely.

Read More Show Less
Frederic Edwin Church's The Icebergs reveal their danger as a crush vessel is in the foreground of an iceberg strewn sea, 1860. Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Scientists and art historians are studying art for signs of climate change and to better understand the ways Western culture's relationship to nature has been altered by it, according to the BBC.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Esben Østergaard, co-founder of Lifeline Robotics and Universal Robots, takes a swab in the World's First Automatic Swab Robot, developed with Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu, professor at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute at The University of Southern Denmark. The University of Southern Denmark

By Richard Connor

The University of Southern Denmark on Wednesday announced that its researchers have developed the world's first fully automatic robot capable of carrying out throat swabs for COVID-19.

Read More Show Less