‘Watershed management; Iran’s only way to survive drought, severe rainfall’

May 5, 2019

TEHRAN – The only way for the country to overcome long-term droughts along with preventing floods is through comprehensive watershed management plnas, Ali Salajeqeh, University of Tehran faculty in river engineering and watershed management, has said.

“Return period for the recent heavy downpours is 50 to 100 years, and the floods also have a return period of 200 to 500 years,” he said, adding, therefore, human activities played an essential role in pacing up the return period of floods.

He went on to note that with preventive management, flooding could have been prevented and even water could be stored employing eco-friendly methods, ISNA reported on Saturday.

“Some claimed that large structures such as dams have controlled the flood, while this is wrong, recent rainfall carried large amounts of soil and sediments into the country's dams,” he added.

In dry countries, extreme events such as flood and drought are part of the climate characteristic, so we must be able to contain the natural incidents, he highlighted, lamenting, so water and watershed management is the only way to save the country from recurrent droughts and intermittent rainfall. 

If the watershed operations are carried out in the framework of a comprehensive watershed management plan, other operations, including standard dam construction, are arranged accordingly, he stated.

Salajeqeh went on to conclude that nature should be managed with watershed operations, because it is economically more efficient than dam construction, and, on the other hand, extract more water.

According to National Drought Warning and Monitoring Center affiliated to Iran’s Meteorological Organization since the beginning of the current water year (September 23, 2018) the whole country received 294 millimeters of rain.

The number amounted to 129.9 millimeters in the previous water year and 206.4 millimeters in the long-term, the data indicated. The numbers show a drastic increase of 126.3 percent compared to last water year. It also reveals a 42.4 percent increase compared to long-term means.

Extreme rainfall, starting on March 19, has caused flooding in 28 out of 31 provinces affecting 42,269,129 inhabitants in 253 cities nationwide.

FB/MQ/MG

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