People, Environment

Gotvand Dam Takes Toll on Palm Trees

Gotvand Dam Takes Toll on Palm Trees
Gotvand Dam Takes Toll on Palm Trees

Gotvand Dam in Khuzestan Province has caused an environmental disaster by reportedly contributing to the death of 400,000 palm trees in Arvandkenar in 2014.

Speaking to ILNA, Ahmadreza Lahijanzadeh, head of the provincial Department of Environment, said the unnatural salinity of Karoun River has made an already harsh environment unbearable for palm trees in the province.

Other factors threatening the survival of palm trees—and indeed, agriculture—are drought and excessive withdrawal of groundwater.

Khuzestan exports around 40% of Iran’s dates.

Gotvand Dam on Karoun River was constructed amid widespread protest from environmental activists and scientists who warned that the disadvantages of the dam outweigh its benefits.

Following claims earlier this year by the Iran Water and Power Resources Company that the dam’s construction had DOE’s approval, the department issued a swift response accusing the company of failure to disclose the presence of salt domes in the region in their proposal that would have been submerged in the reservoir.