People, Environment

Hamouns Study Complete

Hamouns Study Complete Hamouns Study Complete

A year-long research to extensively study the imperiled Hamoun Wetlands in southeastern Iran as part of a plan to revive the lagoon is complete.

“This is the first time the Hamouns have been so meticulously studied,” YJC quoted Ahmad Tarh, the director of the International Hamoun Wetlands’ Research Center in Zahedan, Sistan-Baluchestan Province, as saying.

The feedback from the study will serve as a reference for researchers and decision-makers to carefully plan and execute subsequent steps in restoring the wetlands, he said.

The study helped researchers gain a better understanding of the topography of the wetlands, allowing them to pinpoint the areas where the restoration efforts should begin.

Once a thriving lagoon and a major source of income for the locals, the Hamouns are now almost completely dry, becoming the biggest source of dust storms in the province and one of the largest in eastern Iran.

The Hamouns are transboundary wetlands on the Iran-Afghan border and comprise three lakes: Hamoun-e Helmand, which is entirely in Iran; Hamoun-e Sabari on the border; and Hamoun-e Puzak, which is almost entirely inside Afghanistan.

The three lakes are linked and fed by water from Afghanistan’s Helmand River.

Construction of dams and canals in Afghanistan led to water being drawn off to feed agriculture in the Afghan provinces of Kandahar, Helmand and Nimrooz, causing water levels in the lakes to plummet.

To make matters worse, four reservoirs were built in Iran, diverting more water and speeding up the desiccation of the wetlands.

In an attempt to attract global attention to the dire state of the wetlands and secure funds from international organizations, Iran is planning to nominate the Hamouns to the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program.