عنوان مقاله [English]
The negative consequences of many water transfer projects in experiences of various countries around the world have indicated that compared to better and alternative projects, the use of water transfer project as a method is in their last priority. Iran is a semi-arid country that is affected by drought and climate change. Dilemmas from the undesirable water management have always existedin the region. Nevertheless, the country has a lot of experience in interbasin water transfers. "Beheshtabad" is one of the major interbasin transfer projects - which is to carry water from Koohrang and Beheshtabad sub-basins of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari to Iran's central plateau (Isfahan, Yazd and Kerman). This plan has not yet been implemented in the wake of legislation difficulties and the pressure of public opinion of the donor Provinces (Khuzestan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari and sometimes Lorestan) and the representatives of these provinces in parliament, despite the approval of the Supreme Council of Water. Most experts believe that the implementation of this project has, in particular, negative effects on the donor provinces and, in general, on the country. Political activism, security challenges (ethnic conflicts), social, economic, and environmental tensions resulting from lack of precise feasibility study of the project are among the issues that make the justification of its implementation inconvincible. From a geopolitical point of view, this leads to the formation of a "negative hydro-politic" on a national and regional scale and that in its turn affects the security of local, regional and even national security.
The present research seeks to answer a fundamental question. From the perspective of feasibility and estimation of the implementation, it does the interbasin water transfer of the Beheshtabad to the plateau and has the (technical, economic, social, and environmental) justifications of an interbasin water transfer project. There are a number of acute problems in the Behshadabad water transfer project to the central plateau, which in no way justifies the implementation of such a project and the project is in fact considered to be a premature plan. This plan will have many consequences, both in regional level and national level (security and national interests), regardless of the minimum imminent events (in the donor region). The present study utilizes a descriptive-analytic method. The sources of information generally include scientific-research papers and congress reports, speeches by critics and field experts, feasibility studies, and Internet resources.
Results and discussion
Research findings show that this project lacks detailed studies on the impacts on the donor region. The various technical, economic, social, political and environmental impacts have not been observed or considered. Therefore, the plan has the following consequences:
Exacerbation of ethnic violence
Any projects in this regard should be analyzed in relation to the issue of power and violence in local communities, and should include clear analyzes of the interests of stakeholders during the implementation of these projects, and the authority of each and the conflicts and disputes between these interests. In the past decades, ignoring this problem has increased the intensity of the conflict over the issue of water within and among some districts. The increase in the intensity of the conflict over the issue of water in some provinces, such as Isfahan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari and Khuzestan, show a clear consequence of such actions.
Technical and economic feasibility study of the plan
In the studies, the abovementioned plan has no economic justification. Increasing the cost, agricultural and industrial recession, cost of drinking water treatment, and impact on the rights of the people over water, increasing health costs, decline of tourism; reducing the production capacity of clean energy and the income of the hydroelectric system of Karun multi-dam system, and etc. are the economic consequences of this plan.
Social impacts of the plan (social feasibility)
The most important social impacts of such projects include increase in conflicts between water consumers, increase in general poverty, increase in immigration due to drying of springs, qanats and wells in the area, increasing public discontent about government's decision to transfer water, injustice, and increase in suspicion, causing frustration and despair in the people of donor basin due to the loss of some opportunities and, in general, the increase of social problems in donor (in particular) and recipient basins.
Opposition and protests of people in different cities of Chaharmahal and bahkhtari, open and opposing positions of the representatives of the Chaharmahal and bukhtari province in the parliament, formation of human chains along with Karun, opposition of the people Khuzestan in the social medias and the resignation of the Khuzestan's representatives in the parliament (among the reasons for their resignation was opposition to the transfer of Karun's water) are some of the clear examples of the political activism of the people and authorities regarding interbasin water transfer.
Environmental impacts of the project
Like other consequences, the environmental impacts of the transfer of water from Beheshtabad to the Central Plateau (needs of the donor basin and the damages done to it) are not so much within the frame of ecological justice. Destruction river landscape, undermining of ground waters, reduced drinking water quality, urban and rural drinking water limitations, geomorphologic alterations, sedimentation intensification, increased volume of wastewater and pollutant sources, drying of ponds and wetlands (e.g. Shadegan) and lowering the water level in lakes and etc. are among environmental issues.
Studies show that water transfer projects result in drying of the rivers, the destruction of the life-giving wetlands, endangering the environment and biodiversity of animals and plants, and emergence of social dissatisfaction, especially in the donor basins. What has happened in the central plateau or some of the country's ecosystems in recent years has led to land degradation of rivers and springs, drop in groundwater levels, or the death of wetlands, was not just recent droughts, and a lack of proper governance and good management have had bigger roles in these bitter events. It is crucial that a comprehensive assessment of the performance of previous projects should be carried out prior to the implementation of new water transfer plans (such as Beheshtabad, Gokan Tunnel, Golab Tunnel, etc.), all of which revolve around water supply management and cause demand management programs to fail. A comprehensive assessment of the performance of previous projects should be undertaken and the results should be used to modify and revise such plans.
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