A tunnel to divert water from the Karaj River to Tehran is raising environmental concerns over the threat to Karaj’s underground water system.

Amir Kabir Dam

Amir Kabir Dam

The Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday December 5 that the plan to tunnel water from Karaj River to resolve Tehran’s water shortage has become “controversial” and “is now aiming at the heart of the Alborz Province environment”.

The plan to transfer water through a tunnel from Amir Kabir Dam in Karaj to Tehran was approved nine years ago. The report maintains that the water transfer will dry out over 30 kilometres of river and threaten thousands of trees.

The Karaj MP reports that the project is in its final stage and will soon be completed.

The report adds that the project will also affect the red spotted rainbow trout, which lives in that stretch of the river.

Persistent drought conditions and the excessive exploitation of underground waters have left Iran with a water crisis that analysts say will only get worse in the coming years.