By Sara Rajabova
Iran's East Azerbaijan Province is suffering from the drinking water and electricity shortage.
East Azerbaijan Province's Governor Esmail Jabbarzadeh said the shortage has reached a critical level, IRNA news agency reported.
Jabbarzadeh instructed the Crisis Center of the province to normalize the situation and provide the population with enough drinking water and electricity.
Since July 2013, water is being distributed in several cities of Iranian provinces of Gilan, Hormuzgan, and Kerman in accordance with a special schedule.
Previously, Managing Director of Iranian National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company, Hamid Reza Janbaz said there is a drinking water shortage in 517 Iranian cities and this problem has reached a critical level.
He said the water shortage is due to an uneven population growth, increase in the number of residential areas, the disparity of water resources development plans and so on.
Iran's Energy Ministry has started rationing water as the water crisis continues in the country.
Arak, Esfahan, Bandar Abbas, Tehran, Shiraz, Qazvin, Qom, Karaj, Kerman, Mash'had, Hamedan, and Yazd are the major cities which are expected to face a severe water shortage this summer, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported.
Iran has already started water rationing in the city of Karaj.
Energy Ministry's officials say that by cutting consumption by 20-30 percent, Iran will face no difficulty in distributing enough water across the country.
Iran's rationing water project in Karaj comes as the country's President Hassan Rouhani previously had ordered the Energy Ministry not to start water rationing.
Iran is located in the arid zone, and for the past 40 years the country has repeatedly faced drought.
The drought in 1992-2002 caused considerable damage to agriculture. Quotas were set for fresh water in some cities, including the capital Tehran.