EghtesadOnline: Construction of 11 inflatable rubber dams is underway in the northern province of Gilan to help the region's agriculture, the Energy Minister said Thursday.
Speaking at the inauguration of Galesh Kolam Dam in Langarud County, Reza Ardakanian said: “The dam helps prevent salt water intrusion into fresh water areas and is used to water 2,800 hectares of farmland,” the Energy Ministry news portal Paven quoted him as saying.
Built at a cost of $1.5 million, it is the fourth rubber dam in the province with a capacity to hold 280,000 cubic meters of water. The dam also helps prevent possible flooding and is useful for breeding fish and shrimp.
Despite the fact that Gilan gets some of the heaviest rains among Iran’s 31 provinces, significant volumes of surface water is lost due to the lack of enough reservoirs, Financial Tribune quoted Ardakanian as saying.
He hoped the 11 rubber dams would be ready as planned so that “water needed for expanding farming and greenery in the region is available.
Inflatable rubber dams are cylindrical rubber fabrics placed across channels, streams and rivers to raise the upstream water level when inflated. The fabric is flexible and yet exhibits good wear-resistance characteristics.
Rubber dams were developed in the early 1950s and are installed in stream and riverbeds, generally being bolted into concrete foundation.
Due to its moderate climate, Gilan is rich in agriculture and animal husbandry. Over half of its farmlands are under rice cultivation and the region is one of the major rice production centers in Iran.
Other will-known Gilan products include tea, citrus fruits, hazelnut, peanut, potatoes, pumpkins, olives, silk cocoon and caviar. Annually 2.5 million tons of crops are produced in the province.
Dams in Mazandaran
Two inflatable rubber dams will be operational by the beginning of the next fiscal year in March in Mazandaran Province, Gilan’s eastern neighbor.
Larim Dam is being built on Siahrood River in Juybar County and Pazevar Dam on Babolrood River, Babolsar County.
Pazevar and Larim dams each have a capacity of six million cubic meters, and the water will be used to farm 6,000 hectares in the tourist region.
The first rubber dam in Mazandaran was built in 1996 and five with total storage capacity of four million cubic meters are operational.
Rubber dams are one of the most useful and inexpensive ways to contain surface water.
Enabling fish passage past diversion works, water retention for aquifer recharge, and protecting low-lying coastal areas from tidal flooding are other benefits of such dams.
The main advantage of rubber dams is no sediment accumulation. This is a big plus as it removes the need for dredging, which is costly and sometimes harmful for the environment.
Life of these structures is usually between 25 to 30 years, and after that the dams can be reused by replacing the rubber.
Mazandaran Province is located along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and adjacent to the Central Alborz mountain range.
It is a major producer of farmed fish, and aquaculture provides an important economic segment to the traditional dominance of agriculture.
Over 70 kinds of agricultural products are grown in Mazandaran. It meets 40% of domestic demand for rice and 50% of citrus fruits. The region, which attracts millions of tourists every year, is also the sole domestic kiwi supplier.