International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001
Rainwater Catchment in Agriculture
Recent Rainwater Harvesting Progresses in Iran
Ali Akbar Noroozi, Jamal Ghoddousi
Soil Conservation Watershed Management Research Center of Iran
P.O. Box: 13445-1136
Following the 8th IRCSA, held in Teheran, Iran in April 1997, various
types of rainwater collection methods were studied in the northwest of
Iran. These studies were based on some valuable experiences from other
countries, which had been discussed during the conference.
The aim of this paper is to describe the most important results of the
employed methods, including water spreading, micro-catchment systems for
reforestation and water pounding using micro-catchment systems. The result
of the studies have shown that in areas with limited rainfall, storing
water in soil profile appears to be a key for survival for plant and domestic
water supply in terms of rangeland improvement.
One has to keep in mind that even rainwater micro-catchment systems
are having limitations in terms of applicability. Particularly in drought
prone areas, rainwater harvesting is the only way to guarantee water supply.
However increase in natural plant composition, establishment of plantation,
increasing spring discharges as well as underground gallery, so called
qanat, are the most important results in the study areas. In order to
promote the use of rainwater harvesting methods to supply water for different
proposes, extending the use of water harvesting techniques and training
programs on a national level are essential and imperative for sound rainfall
management in water deficient regions.
The key points in this regard are as follows: (a)Feasibility of techniques
to be used, (b)Reasonability of the techniques in economic terms , (c)Acceptability
of the techniques by farmers, (d)Simplicity of the techniques in terms
of design, layout, implementation and operation.
It has to be emphasized that in the study area all the above criteria
were taken into consideration and more than 80 hectares of wasteland were
rehabilitated using micro-catchment systems. In addition 25 water points
supplying water for more than 500 head sheep were supplied through the
construction of a flood water spreading system. The discharge of ten shallow
wells and two Qanat systems was also increased.
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