Hundreds of residents in Abadan, a oil refining city in southwest Iran, have once again held a protest on Saturday, June 23, in front of the Governor’s office to protest lack of drinkable and usable water.
Protesters carried banners that read, “Potable water is our absolute right”, sarcastically reminding the now obsolete slogan, “Nuclear energy is our absolute right”, coined during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency.
Meanwhile, they chanted slogans against the Governor and authorities responsible for the management of the city’s water and sewage system, the Islamic Republic’s official news agency, IRNA reported.
Years of drought and what critics say, water mismanagement has led to a drop in the level of rivers and the underground water table.
According to IRNA, citizens of Abadan are protesting “salty drinking water” and hours long daily disruption in the city’s water circulation system.
Some of the protesters are also enraged for being forced to line up for long hours to get potable water.
The water circulated in Abadan is so salty that home filters are incapable of desalinate it, Tasnim news agency reported.
Earlier, on Wednesday, June 20, citizens of Abadan had held a similar rally in front of the city’s water and sewage system offices, protesting too much salty and undrinkable water and rationing it.
A day prior to the protests, the water and sewage department in Abadan had declared that due to high level of salt in the water of Bahmanshir river and a significant drop in the pressure of the city’s water distribution system, the water would be rationed in Abadan.
However, Governor-General of Khuzestan and several other officials of the province have promised to end water shortage in the cities of Abadan and Khorramshahr in a few weeks, immediately after the second line of Ghadir 2 water distribution system becomes fully operational.
Ghadir water distribution project was launched eight years ago to address the problem of water shortage in Khuzestan cities based on their priority, including Abadan, Andimeshk, Dezful, Khorramshahr, Masjid Soleiman and Shushtar.
The level of the salt in Abadan’ water has reached a point that it forced the managers of the city’s petrochemical complex to shut down a number of its units for 48 hours.
Salty and muddy water in Abadan and Khorramshahr has led to widespread protest in the area during the past decade.