Ghanats of Iran: Drainage of Sloping Aquifer

by Mohammed Bybordi, Sr. Expert; Tech. Bureau, Plan and Budget Organization, Tehran, Iran,


Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 3, Pg. 245-253

Document Type: Journal Paper


Ghanats represent one of the oldest systems of water supply in the world. A Ghanat is merely a kind of subsurface drain whereby ground water is brought to the surface by means of a man-made gravity flow channel. The drains of the Ghanats are usually laid in the direction of maximum slope. The number of Ghanats in Iran is estimated to amount to 50,000, and provides from one-third to one-half of all the irrigation water in the country. Methods of construction have been described and a theory advanced to account for the interrelationships of some of the parameters that control the discharge of a Ghanat.

Subject Headings: Developing countries | Drainage | Slopes | Water supply systems | Subsurface drainage | Channel flow | Construction methods | Water supply | Iran | Middle East | Asia

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