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Growing Concern About Sivand Dam



10 October 2005



The plan to afforest the area around Sivand Dam to reduce the level of humidity at the historical site of Sivand has raised concern among environmentalists who believe that plantation around the dam will increase humidity rather than decrease it, reported CHN.

Ministry of Energy, which is implementing the project contended that it is possible to reduce the level of humidity through aforestation.

An expert on forest affairs, Kazem Nosrati said that trees increase the humidity of the surroundings and they contribute to increasing the amount of rainfall.

“Experts discount that the level of humidity in an area, which has a body of water, can be reduced by planting trees.“

An environment expert said that presumably those implementing the Sivand Dam project have offered to plant trees to reduce humidity of the soil around the dam.

Experts believe that usually water from dams seeps into nearby lands turning them into marshlands. The soil and land in the area loses its strength thus exposing the cultural heritage sites in the area to destruction.

“Aforestation may lead to the absorption of humidity by the trees. However this evaporates into the air thus doubling the level of humidity. So, extensive humidity will pose greater threats to historical monuments,“ he added. 
Nosrati said that plantation of trees may be effective in reducing humidity in the initial stage, but, when the trees grow, they will contribute to humidity as well. “Forests attract clouds which are followed by rain. This has a destructive effect on cultural heritage edifices,“ he noted.

Head of Pars-e Pasargad Research Foundation, Mohammad Hassan Talebian said that humidity at the Sivand Dam reservoir is the number one threat to Pasargad historical monuments and the rise in the level of humidity in historical sites will have impacts on the maintenance of Pasargad.

There are natural forests around Sivand Dam. Filling of the dam with water will destroy these forests and the executives of Sivand Dam should pay reparations for destroying the forests.

He said that the water seeping into nearby land will lead to the degradation of soil in the area.

Experts believe that accurate studies of climatic conditions have not been carried out before undertaking the project to construct Sivand Dam.

Talebian said that one way to limit the damages to Pasargad cultural heritage site is to install humidity measuring devices in the area while coordinating the water level at the dam with acceptable humidity.

So, while filling up the dam, the level of the water should not exceed the optimum level to keep humidity in the area in line with the standard.

Environment experts do not see Talebian’s proposal as effective in limiting the harmful effects of humidity on Pasargad and believe that reduction in the water level of the dam will not be effective.

Talebian said he will welcome expert views to ensure that humidity of the dam will not endanger Parsargad.






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