Afghanistan, Iran form joint working group over water rights

KABUL (Ariana News): Iranian media reported that for the first time a joint working group of environmental officials of Afghanistan and Iran was formed to follow up on the issue of water rights from the Helmand River.

According to Iran’s state news agency IRNA, for several years now, water has not reached Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan from the Helmand River in Afghanistan, and it has caused problems for the livelihood of the people of the region.

According to the water treaty between the two countries, Iran is entitled to 820 million cubic meters of water from the river annually, but Iranian officials have said it only received 27 million cubic meters in the past year.

After the Iranian officials claimed that the Islamic Emirate was not committed to ensuring water rights, Kabul allowed a delegation from Iran to closely evaluate the water level in the Helmand River.

A technical delegation of Iran visited the Deh Rawood hydrometric station and found the level of water to be lower than normal due to drought.

During his recent trip to Iran, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy prime minister for economic affairs, said that the recent droughts have had a bad effect on water resources in the region, especially in Afghanistan. He said surface and underground water levels have decreased significantly.