One of the most serious risks threatening the Ahwaz’s environment is the slow death of the rivers particularly Karoon, Karkheh and Dez as the dryness of these Rivers has led to drought and desertification of lands. Such drought is having direct damaging impact on the vast marshlands in Ahwaz such as the Great Hor, Horalhoveizeh, Hor Falahiyeh and Hor Ilmenau.
These marshlands are known worldwide for their natural resources and as their serving as a sanctuary for migratory birds like types of ducks, geese, cranes, herons, storks, starlings, falcons and Balabans.
The Ahwazi regions are temperate in climate, once were rich in wetlands, ponds, and numerous lakes that for centuries have been a suitable habitat for aquatic and wading birds coming from cold countries including Russia and Tajikistan every year during their migration.
In recent years, Oil exploration in the heart of the wetlands has caused severe pollution and destruction of the aquatic ecosystem of the wetlands, as large numbers of fish and rare and endangered species of birds that have always inhabited these regions have died of diseases believed to be caused by polluted emissions and oil spills.
There is no doubt that the rivers are the common wealth of the Ahwazi Arab people because of their potential for fishery and appropriate environment for livestock, as well as having great impact on the safety of the Ahwaz’ environment.
The drying of Ahwazi Rivers by the occupying enemy is a declaration of war on the Ahwaz farmers whose lands stretch from the Zagros Mountains and end in the marshes and the Arabian Gulf.
Undoubtedly, the dryness will generate drastic repercussions on the lives and fate of Ahwazi farmers who most likely will be forced to leave their lands in pursuit of another alternative for living, and perhaps it will compel them to migrate to the Persian cities, which seems to be the occupier’s goal: to humiliate the Ahwazis and subject them to begging for their livelihoods from their antagonists, while leaving the land to Persian settlers backed by the occupying regime.
The scarcity of potable water for agricultural purposes has driven Ahwazi farmers in the Gheizaniyeh rural area to use wastewater to irrigate their farmland. Informed sources have claimed that nearly 2,500 hectares of arable and fertile lands in Gheizaniyeh, which lies east of the city of Ahwaz, are being irrigated by sewerage and industrial water.
As a result of building dams on the rivers, the Ahwazi farmers are forced to use the contaminated water containing sewage and detrimental industrial discharges to irrigate their lands that are cultivated with wheat and barley, all of which is posing serious ramifications on the health and the economic levels because of the toxicity and lack of nutrients of the agricultural product.
It is not surprising that the outcome of the dryness of Ahwazi Rivers and wetlands is environmental pollution and the spread of epidemics and various diseases as well as the emergence of devastating sandstorms.
The amount of dust particles in Ahwaz’s air was measured to be over 10 thousand micrograms per cubic meter. This amount is about 70 times more than the standard rate which is 150 micrograms per cubic meter.
This adverse weather condition has triggered drastic asthmatic attacks and related allergic reactions among Ahwazi people as hundreds of citizens have admitted to medical centers after suffering from severe respiratory disorders due to the thick dust storm and the air pollution.