People, Environment

DOE Plans Shadegan Wetland Restoration

DOE Plans Shadegan Wetland RestorationDOE Plans Shadegan Wetland Restoration

The Department of Environment in Khuzestan Province has outlined the plan to revive the imperiled Shadegan Wetland, according to the head of the department, Ahmadreza Lahijanzadeh.

The wetland, which is protected under Ramsar Convention, has been at risk of desiccation for years, thanks to Iran’s protracted battle with drought, news website Khouz News reported.

While the northern part of the wetland has been receiving meager amounts of water thanks to Jarahi River, the low discharge of the river is unable to fill the entire lagoon, leaving the southern portion of Shadegan dry.

Lahijanzadeh said to remedy the problem, a six-kilometer-long canal will be constructed to transfer water from Karoun River to the southern part of Shadegan.

“The project will be completed by March 2016,” he said.

He said the department has been in talks with the Sugarcane and Byproducts Development Company to enlist their help.

“They have agreed to allow us to use their irrigation systems to pump water from the farms to the wetland during winter when the farms are not watered,” he said.

Lahijanzadeh noted that even though the irrigation system can only be used for three months per year, the method can transfer up to four times the volume of water transferred by the canal.

Excessive dam construction, prolonged drought and failure to uphold Shadegan’s water rights have rendered the once thriving wetland vulnerable to desiccation.

Furthermore, the marine species remaining in the wetland are threatened by pollution caused by leaky oil pipes, industrial waste and fertilizers.