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Water Storage – An Elegant Solution: The Lessons from Iran on the Importance of Storing Water

One of the issues which keeps dripping is the Kapiti Coast’s need to find a long term solution for storing water. (see associated article – Water – An Issue which just Keeps Dripping)


As a Regional Councillor, with the management of our resources as our key function, I would be both committed to working for a satisfactory and sustainable outcome of the Kapiti Coast water solution to serve the district now and in the long term.


30 plus options looked at


Amongst the 30 plus options looked at by the Kapiti Coast’s technical advisory team is one which uses our existing aquifers as a dam. That is, storing surplus winter river water underground in what is essentially a dam - except underground instead of above! This seems to me an elegant solution, environmentally sound and would provide enough water for our future without destroying our landscape or blowing our budget.


Water Storage Iranian Style


This process of water storage echoes an ancient method of distributing water which impressed me during a recent trip to Iran - a county of deserts and snow covered mountains, but fertile and green in unlikely places.


The reclaimed fertile areas are due to Qanats, a system which brings mountain snow down to the valleys to be used prudently in field, villages, towns and cities.


The technology was developed in ancient Persia and has since then spread to other countries. A recently discovered system in Iran is said to be dated back to 1000BC. Perhaps this is a solution for the dry plains of Canterbury instead of using river water for their increasing dairy farms.


Help google and blind readers


Iran is irrigated by these ancient, hand-constructed systems of water canals deep under the desert. For centuries the water flowing from the abundant snow on the Zagros Mountains, which traverse the country from north to south, has been captured by artisans centuries ago to make a barren country green. These systems of old are still being increased using the same methods of old. This ensures pure potable water for villages, towns, cities and fields. The orientation of the city or town is consistent with the gradient of the land to provide good water flow and efficient water distribution.


Underground Storage


The precious water is stored underground and in Ice Houses where ice is carried from the mountains is stored to slowly melt into the canals below. A permanent and elegant solution to providing scarce water to a parched nation has resulted. We could learn a lot from this technology.


More on water :annchap/content/water-issue-just-keeps-dripping