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Assessment of the Contributions of Traditional Qanats in Sustainable Water Resources Management

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Qanats (Kanats) have been an ancient, sustainable system facilitating the harvesting of water for centuries in Iran, and more than 34 additional countries of the world. These subterranean channels have been used for the transference of snowmelt water from the mountainous terrain for thousands of years. Agricultural, industrial and urban demands for fresh water have brought about increasing demands for water, the elixir of life. In response, the harvesting of water via deep groundwater wells throughout arid zones has disturbed the aquifers, and resulted in the abandonment of some qanats. Qanats in the province of Yazd City are witnessing this depletion. This paper introduces qanats, objectives causing their creation, construction materials, locations and their importance in different times, as well as their present role in Iran. Further, current qualitative and quantitative analyses of the qanats in Tehran are identified.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Water and Power University of Technology, Tehran, Iran 2: University of Guelph, Canada 3: Water Resources Company, Yazd, Iran 4: University of Art, Tehran, Iran

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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