The other side of the coin: environmental benefits of flooding

April 22, 2019

TEHRAN — Following spring downpours, leading to devastating flood in western, southwestern, and northern Iran, the country suffered loss of 300 trillion rials (approximately $7 billion), however, the benefits of the flooding cannot be ignored.

Issa Kalantari, chief of the Department of Environment (DOE), told Khabaronline that rainfalls have economic benefits for the country twice as much as agriculture sector. While DOE chief regretted the casualties caused by the flooding he highlighted that the benefits of the floods are 10 times more than the losses they inflicted upon the country.

The flood waters would bring back wetlands and rivers to life and revive Zagros forests, and also recharge surface and groundwater resources, Kalantari added.

The head of Technology Development Council of Water, Drought, Erosion and Environment at Science and Technology vice Presidency Naderqoli Ebrahimi said that during wet spells recharging groundwater resources must become a priority.

Directing floodwaters to aquifers and plains and proper watershed and aquifer management would help in compensating decreases in groundwater resources, Ebrahimi noted.

In regions where proper watershed and aquifer management plans were conducted flood has slight loss and water has entered groundwater resources naturally, he highlighted.

Mohammad Fazeli, an official with Energy Ministry, also said that floodwater can play a role in dissolving chemicals in farming lands.

The increase in the amount of water after floods will promote industries and tourism in flood-hit regions, he added.

Fazeli went on to explain that while floods have destructed infrastructure, and damaged houses, farming lands, crops and livestock in the short-term, its long-term benefits outweigh the losses.

MQ/MG

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