President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated three dams and an irrigation network in the northwestern Ardabil Province on Wednesday.
Built at a cost of $30 million, the dams (Ahmadbiglou in Meshgin Shahr, Befrajerd in Khalkhal and Tazehkand in Germi) can store up to 41 million cubic meters of water, IRNA reported.
The dams will supply surrounding counties with potable water.
Experts and independent observers say Iran’s push for economic development is taking a toll on the water resources in the mostly arid and semi-arid country as myopic projects take away scarce water to supply inefficient agriculture and rapidly expanding urban areas.
Without a pragmatic plan of action the country could likely face severe water stress, they have often warned .
Officials, including Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, insist on building dams as an effective way to check and reverse water scarcity.