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Water Resource Development in Iran

Peter Beaumont
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 140, No. 3 (Oct., 1974), pp. 418-431
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/1796535
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1796535
Page Count: 14
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Water Resource Development in Iran
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Abstract

Iran is an arid country with water surpluses existing in only small portions of the northern and western parts. Until recently traditional irrigation systems, using both surface and groundwater supplies, have been widely utilized for agricultural production. The qanat, a sloping tunnel for extracting ground-water, is particularly common in Iran, especially on the alluvial fans bordering the Dasht-e-Kavir, or salt desert. Since the Second World War four development plans have been carried out in Iran, and during the Second Seven Year Plan a number of large multi-purpose water resource projects were initiated. These projects together with new ones were continued in the succeeding plans. During the early plans, emphasis was placed on the provision of water for agricultural use with the development of the Khuzistan lowlands receiving high priority. At a later stage more attention was paid to the provision of water supplies to meet the rapidly increasing demands of water for industrial and domestic use. One of the greatest problems faced by Iran so far has been the provision of a satisfactory water supply for the rapidly growing capital, Tehran. As yet water pollution has not become a major difficulty hindering water resource development.

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