A tourist path has been prepared alongside the world’s longest aqueduct, the Qanat of Zarch, which is located in Iran’s central Yazd Province, to make these waterways more attractive.
Qanat is a gently sloping underground water channel, or aqueduct, to transport water from an aquifer, or well, to the surface for irrigation and drinking, said Ebrahim Kazemnajand who is in charge of Qanat of Zarch and Hassan Abad-e Moshir Qanat, in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily.
“We made a path on the ground along the aqueduct route so that tourists could move along this route to visit eight payabs (a place where water comes to the surface), two water reservoirs, and two water mills inside the aqueduct.”
A specific route has been overlaid on the ground while all 12 entrances to the aqueduct have been reconstructed and illuminated, and their catalogues have also been prepared in order to guide tourists.
“Although this aqueduct is about 90km long, in fact, 230km were excavated for its construction, and the important thing about this deep excavation is that it was all done by hand without the intervention of any machinery,” Kazemnajand said.
Referring to the repair and rehabilitation program of Qanat of Zarch, which started in 2017, he explained that the aqueduct was dredged by cutting off the sewage that flowed into the aqueduct, and removing the accumulated sewage.
“Several hundred municipal sewers have been identified in the urban area, whose sewage was poured into the aqueduct,” he said. “So far, 90 percent of their entrances have been blocked, while the remaining sewers are also being blocked.”
“In Kushk Nou neighborhood, there was an old water mill called Vaziri Mill inside the aqueduct, which was revived, and after visiting it, tourists can walk a 30-meter path into the aqueduct water and exit from the next entrance,” he explained.
This 30-meter route was widened to make it easier for tourists to pass.
In terms of aqueducts, Yazd Province has a special place in the country. Currently, there are over 4,000 aqueducts in Yazd, while more than 30 aqueducts are located under the city of Yazd.
As the land of amazing aqueducts, Iran has about 46,000 active aqueducts, and holds the world record for the first, deepest, and longest aqueducts.
In 2016, UNESCO inscribed 11 qanats in Iran (Khorasan, Yazd, Kerman, Isfahan and Markazi provinces) on the World Heritage List.
Each of the 11 registered Iranian aqueducts has a prominent feature, he said.
The Qanat of Zarch, which stretches from Fahraj village to the city of Zarch, is 90km long, and is considered to be the longest aqueduct in the world, while Hassan Abad-e Moshir aqueduct is one of the most water-filled aqueducts in the world, which contains water year-round.
Furthermore, the Gonabad aqueduct in South Khorasan Province is the deepest aqueduct in the world, he noted.
Regarding the Hassan Abad-e Moshir aqueduct, he said, “Water runs through it at the rate of 45 to 60 liters per second during the year, and it is the most stable aqueduct in the country.
He clarified that there are some aqueducts in the country that are close to the surface of the ground, are often fed by springs and, consequently, during the rainy season, may contain more water than Hassan Abad-e Moshir aqueduct.
He added that with the measures taken, the Qanat of Zarch has been revived and water is flowing along the 90 km of the aqueduct.
Currently, at the beginning of the aqueduct, about 60 liters of water flows, 20 liters of which reaches the city of Yazd, he said, while hoping that the aqueduct water for the city would be doubled.
If the water level increases, farmers in the arid and desert area of Zarch could use the water for agriculture, he concluded.