Iranian Power Minister Hamid Chitchian says water consumption must be regulated and managed properly and the illegal use of underground waters must be stopped, or the country will face continued droughts and the end of agriculture.

IRNA reports that according to Chitchian, the cost of water extraction and irrigation for agricultural products makes those products unfeasible.

Iran has faced continued droughts in recent years, and many of its lakes, ponds and wetlands are drying out.

The administration has reported that half of the population does not have adequate drinking water, and if people in large cities do not conserve water, they will be faced with water rationing.