Restoring the Qanats as a Traditional Water Transfer System: A Sustainable Approach

Document Type: Original Paper


1 Scientific member, Department of Architecture engineering, Lahijan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Lahijan, Iran

2 Master of landscape Architecture, Tehran University, Iran.

3 Ph.D. Candidate, International University of Imam Khomeini, Collage of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qazvin, Iran.


In a wide range of the central boundaries of the Iranian plateau, encompassing an important part of the arid areas in Asia, the phenomenon of desertification is a long his tory. In this arid and waterless expanse, living conditions are fully dependent on access to water due to the supremacy of the Kavirs and deserts. The most important and oldest ways of obtaining water have been Qanat or Kariz (underground water canal). Here, we show that Qanat is one of the most important environmental sustainable tools in the local-regional environments of the Iranian plateau. Qanat improves the unfavorable conditions of the earth and the natural bed of the region along with its path and helps the ecological duration of the environment. At the end of its path, in the place of its rising (emergence), Qanat is regarded as one of the most original factors in shaping, formating, and duration of microclimates. However, in view of the dependency on the biological, economic and occupational (vocational) activities, the presence of Qanat and its entry to the boundary of the flourishing conditions affect the durable formation and shaping social and economic activities in its habitats along with the preparation of the groundwork for durable ecological aspects. As a result, by collecting and classifying library documents through a qualitative analysis, this study tries to present solutions concerning the sustainable use of Qanat at present and in future through the emphasis on the effect of Qanat on various ecological and social aspects of its surrounding environment and the necessity of preservation and revival of this important human innovation as a historical heritage.