A row of tractors sit idle during a strike by farmers, at the entrance to the town of Varzaneh, in Isfahan province, Iran.
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It's a sign of the anger that has been growing over water shortages caused by a years-long drought but worsened, experts say, by government mismanagement.Earlier this month, in another part of southern Iran, 11 people were wounded when police broke up a protest in Khorramshahr, where residents complain of brown water coming from their taps.Over the past decade, Iran has seen the most prolonged and severe drought in more than 30 years, according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization. An estimated 97 percent of the country has faced some level of drought, Iran's Meteorological Organization says.Isfahan province, where Varzaneh is located, and neighboring provinces in central Iran have been hit particularly hard.The Zayandeh Roud river once watered this region, flowing down from the Zagros Mountains, through the city of Isfahan and through a string of farming towns like Varzaneh and its suburbs, home to 30,000 people, some 550 kilometers, south of the capital Tehran.Water has also been diverted to other regions.In 2012, farmers in Varzaneh clashed with police and broke a water pipe that transports 50 million cubic meters of water a year from Isfahan to the neighboring province of Yazd.
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