DOI QR코드

DOI QR Code

Review of Ancient Wisdom of Qanat, and Suggestions for Future Water Management

  • Taghavi-Jeloudar, Mohsen (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Han, Mooyoung (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Davoudi, Mohammad (Department of River Management, Research Institute for Water Scarcity and Drought) ;
  • Kim, Mikyeong (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2012.11.08
  • Accepted : 2013.05.01
  • Published : 2013.06.28

Abstract

Arid areas have a significant problem with water supply due to climate change and high water demand. More than 3,000 years ago, Persians started constructing elaborate tunnel systems called Qanat for extracting groundwater for agriculture and domestic usages in arid and semi-arid areas and dry deserts. In this paper, it has been demonstrated that ancient methods of water management, such as the Qanat system, could provide a good example of human wisdom to battle with water scarcity in a sustainable manner. The purpose of this paper is twofold: Review of old wisdom of Qanat-to review the history of this ancient wisdom from the beginning until now and study the Qanat condition at the present time and to explore why (notwithstanding that there are significant advantages to the Qanat system), it will no longer be used; and suggestions for future water management-to suggest a number of new methods based on new materials and technology to refine and protect Qanats. With these new suggestions it could be possible to refine and reclaim this method of extracting water in arid areas. Also, a new multi-purpose water management model has been introduced based on rainwater infiltration management over the Qanat system as the model can be applied either in dry or wet cities to solve current urban water problems.

Keywords

Ancient wisdom;Arid area;Groundwater;Qanat;Water supply technology

References

  1. Afkhami AA. Disease and water supply: the case of cholera in 19th century Iran. Bull. Yale School For. Environ. Stud. 1998;(103):206-220.
  2. Han M, Kim S. Local water independency ratio (LWIR) as an index to define the sustainability of major cities in Asia. Water Sci. Tech. Water Supply 2007;7:1-8.
  3. Rygaard M, Binning PJ, Albrechtsen HJ. Increasing urban water self-sufficiency: new era, new challenges. J. Environ. Manag. 2011;92:185-194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2010.09.009
  4. Batelaan O, de Smedt F. GIS-based recharge estimation by coupling surface-subsurface water balances. J. Hydrol. 2007;337:337-355. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.02.001
  5. Benoit J. Underpassing of Angel Underground by London ring main extension tunnel. Int. J. Geoeng. Case Hist. 2011;2:105-126.
  6. Moran N. Innovation: Thames rings changes for London: the ring main links London's networks to central control [Internet]. London: The Independent; 1994 [cited 2013 May 1]. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/innovation-thames-rings-changes-for-london-the-ring-main-links-londons-networks-to-central-control-1415961.html.
  7. Goltz MN, Kim S, Yoon H, Park J. Review of groundwater contaminant mass flux measurement. Environ. Eng. Res. 2007;12:176-193. https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2007.12.4.176
  8. Salih A. Qanats a unique groundwater management tool in Arid regions: the case of Bam region in Iran. In: Ragone SE, Bergkamp GJ, McKay JM, editors. The global importance of groundwater in the 21st century: proceedings of the International Symposium on Groundwater Sustainability; 2006 Jan 24-27; Alicante, Spain. p. 79-87.
  9. Smith A. Explorations in Persia: blind white fish in Persia. New York: E. P. Dutton; 1953.
  10. Beaumont P. Qanat systems in Iran. Bull. Int. Assoc. Sci. Hydrol. 1971;16:39-50. https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667109493031
  11. Semsar Yazdi AA. A survey of the historical evolution of Qanats in Iran. In: Water and Development Information for Arid London-A Global Network (G-WADI) meeting on water harvesting; 2006 Nov 20-22; Aleppo, Syria. p. 43-47.
  12. Wulff HE. The Qanats of Iran. Sci. Am. 1968;218:94-105.
  13. Fair MG, Geyer CJ, Okun AD. Water and wastewater engineering. Vol. 1. Water supply and wastewater removal. New York: John Wily & Sons Inc.; 1966.
  14. Miller FP, Vandome AF, McBrewster J. Aqueduct: Qanat, Roman aqueduct, drought, earthquake engineering, goldfields water supply scheme, irrigation, leat, list of Roman bridges, pipeline transport of ancient Rome Roman engineering. Beau-Bassin Rose-Hill: Alphascript Publishing; 2009.
  15. Bahadori MN. Passive cooling systems in Iranian architecture. Sci. Am. 1978;238:144-154.

Cited by

  1. Rainwater: Drain? or Collect?, That Is the Question pp.2005-968X, 2013, https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2013.18.2.055
  2. A critical review of sustainable built environment development in Iran vol.168, pp.3, 2015, https://doi.org/10.1680/ensu.14.00017
  3. Indigenous Practices of Water Management for Sustainable Services vol.6, pp.4, 2016, https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244016682292
  4. Irrigação por karez (qanat) na Bacia do Rio Helmand, Afeganistão: um legado nativo em desaparecimento vol.25, pp.2, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10040-016-1490-z