Ground broken on new development for UNESCO-tagged qanat

January 9, 2021 - 20:10

TEHRAN - Construction of a reserve reservoir for a UNESCO-registered qanat was officially begun on Thursday in Baghestan, a town in Ferdows county of Iran’s South Khorasan province.

The reserve reservoir will be connected to Qanat of Baladeh to help water supply to the agricultural and permanent settlements in a semi-arid region.

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Hamid Mollanouri, the governor-general of the eastern province, and several local officials, and cultural heritage experts, CHTN reported on Friday.

“Our ancestors built such a qanat (aqueduct) years ago, and we are now proud of this qanat, a World Heritage that contributes to the irrigation, agriculture, and development of the region,” Mollanouri said.

The qanat system relies on snow-fed streams, which flow down the foothills of surrounding mountains channeling through sloping aqueducts, often over far distances to discharge into the city’s underground reservoirs or ab-anbars.

Such constructions are still is practice, many of which were made from the 13th century onwards. Yazd is among ancient cities that have applied this concept to make urban settlements possible in central Iran.

The earliest water supply constructions in Yazd is believed to date from the Sassanid era (224 to 651 CE) while many others have been continually repaired and used over time, most surviving ab-anbars can be today traced to the late Safavid and Qajar periods.

By 2018, some 120,000 qanats had been documented across Iran as nearly 37,000 of which were still in use, according to available data provided by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.

The concept of “Persian Qanat” was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2016, representing a selection of eleven aqueducts across Iran. According to the UN cultural body, qanats provide exceptional testimony to cultural traditions and civilizations in desert areas with an arid climate.


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