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Iran’s Ecosystem, Victim to Nonstandard Dams




24 September 2005


Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav -- Experts believe that constructing dams regardless of necessary standards and the environmental situation have destroyed 80-90 percent of the ecosystems around Iran, causing a great tragedy in this respect.

The morass around some dams such as Dez, and the destruction of the natural ecosystem of the region, the increase of sediments around Sefid-Rood dam, the severe changes of the rivers and their waters becoming salted, for example in Bahmanshir and Karun rivers, and the destruction of their aquatics, all indicate consequences of building dams by the Islamic regime without considering the necessary standards and the ecosystem regulations.

According to Iranian experts, building dams is for sure necessary in Iran, which is an almost dry country, to provide sufficient supply of water and electricity, but the involved officials should perform the projects since the beginning with exact consideration of the ecosystem of the region to diminish the negative effects to the minimum.

“In dam construction projects, the ecosystem should be considered from the beginning before the construction starts. All positive and negative aspects should be considered beforehand, to approve of a plan that has the least destruction to the ecosystem,” says Esmaeil Kahrom, an ecosystem expert, expressing regret of the actual situation of building dams in Iran, despite all the proper rules and regulations existing on the matter.

Another Iranian ecosystem expert, Mohammadreza Fatemi, notes some negative effects of constructing nonstandard dams: the waters of the area becoming salted, making it an improper ecosystem for aquatics and an improper drinking water source, changing the seas ecosystems, changing the rivers ecosystem into that of lakes, increasing underground waters and the possibility of floods, and spreading illnesses due to the perimeters around the dams becoming swamp-like.

According to experts, nonstandard dam construction projects in post-revolutionary Iran have negative consequences on ecosystem in two stages, once during the construction project of the dam and then when it is being inundated.

In a report on its 50th anniversary, the World Bank has announced that the ecosystem issues have not been considered in almost 80 percent of the dams which have been built so far with credits from this bank in different countries, brining under question the economy and social benefits of these dams, the damages from which are either irreversible or in need of a lot of time and effort.




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