Where Does Ahwazi Diverted Water Goes???

The prosperity of the Iranian desert provinces such as Isfahan, Kerman, Yazd, Qom, and Semnan did not happen only at the expense of destroying the one of the Al-Ahwaz province of Khuzestan (the richest province in the world), when the mentioned governorates’ body were the head of the fifth governments to date, such as (Hashemi Rafsanjani from Kerman), (Mohammad Khatami from Yazd), (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from Semnan), (Hassan Rouhani from Semnan).

Also the construction of large-scale water-based industries such as steel, petrochemicals, steam plants (combined cycle) and the ceramic and brick industry that does not have any economic justification. Due to water-using products whose water prices are higher than the product itself, will count as an unreasonable measure.

Below is a reference to the water-dependent industries in the Iranian desert provinces that have been constructed during the time of the fifth government to date based on diverted Ahwazi rivers’ water:

Isfahan Province:

Steel Industries:


Combined cycle power plants

Kerman Province

Steel Industries:


Combined cycle power plants

Yazd Province

Steel Industries:


Establishment of three large petrochemical units in “Qa’im”, “Abarkuh” and “Meybod” cities has been approved and the next steps for construction and commissioning are underway.

Combined cycle power plants

Qom Province

Steel Industries:


Combined cycle power plants

Semnan Province

Steel Industries:


Combined cycle power plants

Dams constructed:

Now, in order to provide the water needed for these water-based industries, as well as the prosperity of agriculture in the desert provinces, during the mentioned period (from the Iranian fifth state to now), six reservoir dams and a number of regulated and detached dams constructed on the outskirts of the Karkheh, Karoon and Jarahi rivers, which are as follows:

Ahwazi water transfer tunnels

Tunnel water transfer projects, that is to be diverted to the desert provinces include:

One of the largest water transfer projects in the Middle East, which is from the Dez river in Aligudarz, and according to experts, is the best water in the world. This project is used for providing water for drinking, agricultural and industrial purposes, that feed 10 towns and 30 villages, including (Qom, Saveh, Salafchegan, Golpayegan, Khomein, Mahallat, Nim Rud).

Water diverted from Dez dam for Arak Industrial use)

This project is one of the major projects for the transfer of more than one billion cubic meters’ water for the supply of agricultural and industrial water in the provinces of Kerman, Isfahan and Yazd.

Water transfers by this tunnel is mainly uses for Zayandehrud river in Isfahan.

Water transfers by this tunnel is mainly uses for Zayandehrud river in Isfahan.

Agricultural purposes

 According to the Iranian minister of energy Mr. Chitchian, quoted by Tasnim news agency that, the current cultivation area has grown five times more than 200,000 hectares in Isfahan province. This trend is also true in other desert provinces.

The Iranian government under pretext of the “transferring water for drinking purposes”, will continue to open new water-base factories in the provinces of Isfahan, Yazd and Kerman, and in one of the Kerman province’s cities and based on the transitional water, is believed to turn into a major pole of steel production in Iran.

In fact, Al-Ahwaz is the victim of Iranian state-neglected policies that is represented in consecutive governments such as fifth and sixth government (the construction government) and the seventh and eighth government (the reform government), the ninth and tenth government (Graceful Government), and the eleventh and twelfth government (the contrive and hope government).

As the result of catastrophic policies that been implemented in Al-Ahwaz region, the region has witnessed the highest levels in the worlds as well as other disastrous phenomena that hits Ahwazi people and environment which they are as follows:

Temperatures in Ahwaz city hit 129.2F (54C), near hottest on Earth in modern measurementsand have tied the world record for the most extreme high temperature.


2-    Most polluted region

Ahwaz in south Iran is one of the world’s most polluted cities, according to a recent air quality survey by the World Health Organization.

The city, with a population of about 1.2m people, had the highest count of small airborne particles out of 1,100 urban areas around the world.

These particles can cause asthma, heart disease and lung cancer.


The Ahwazi people see this dam and river program, not as the result of incompetence but as part of a deliberate, long-term calculated policy of ethnic cleansing intended to change the demographic balance in the region, which is home to over 95 percent of the oil and gas resources claimed by Iran. The aim, in this view, is to force out most of the Arabs and end their claim to sovereignty or ownership of their resources. In the process, natural habitats, wildlife, crops, and farm animals are suffering horrendously, with environmentalists warning of ecological catastrophe if these problems are not addressed.


Poverty due to unemployment resulting from racial discrimination in employment in oil, gas, petrochemicals companies. The second evidence of unemployment is drought due to the construction of dams and the transfer of water to the Persian depth such as Isfahan, Yazd, Kerman and Qom provinces, led to the destruction of agriculture, fishing and palm.


The deaths of fish in the Al-Azim wetland occurs every year in the months of August and September as a result of reducing the level of incoming water to wetland due to Ahwazi river water’s diversion resulting to high degree of temperature and humidity and oxygen depletion that led to death of thousands of Ahwazi fish.

The wastewater is transported to Hoor-al-azim wetland containing heavily chemical metals. In any country, the wetlands are not filled by waste or sewage water as in Iran happens.


Khuzestan province is home to two wetlands, also in a critical state. “To the mid 1990s, the depth of water in Horolazim wetland reached ten metres and the natural bushes that grew all around it were as high as 13 metres,” Ahmad Savari, a professor at Khorramshahr’s Science University told Karun newspaper in February. “But hectare after hectare of the wetland was given away for oil extraction. The destruction of these environments is unquestionably linked to the dust storms.”


The Garden of Eden is dying. Reputed to be two of Eden’s four rivers, the Karoun and Karkheh have been reduced to a trickle as an environmental disaster is unfolds in the Ahwaz region. One of the Middle East’s last verdant areas is being turned into a wasteland as Iran pursues its drive to power up its economy by building a massive complex of dams and divert waters to central Iran.


According to the reports the pollution in the air exceeded more than twenty times the normal rate in the Ahwaz capital and Abadan, reaching more than 1,500 micrograms per cubic meter.


written by:

Faisal Maramazi

Executive director of Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights

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