Qanat is a ditch or canal dug underground to let water reach the surface. It is consist of vertical access shafts, cut cones and canals in the depth of the earth. In fact it connects a series of well originating from the aquifer. Aquifers are usually water tables and the use of Qanats is guiding and maintaining water for agriculture and other uses. It may take several kilometers for the canal of a Qanat to reach the surface. The experts consider the outlet of Qanat to as receiving pond meaning “kariz” in Persian. The Persian Qanats
The technology of Qanat
The technology of Qanat was developed in the early first millennium BC in the arid mountainous regions of Iran. This technology enabled the farmers in these regions to farm in long periods of drought where they couldn’t find surface water. Gradually, these Qanats began to become popular in other parts of the world. And now there are many Qanats in China, Morocco, and even on the America continent.
In fact, ancient people of the Persia had come up with this innovation several thousand years ago. And after a while, they named it Kariz or Kahriz. The first and the longest Qanat in the world exist in Iran. By employing this invention, which has been unique in the world, it is possible to collect a considerable amount of groundwater and transmit it to the surface. As a result, it works like a natural spring; water flows out of the ground all year without any help. Besides, this innovation brought about making “water clock” and “watermill” with itself. Although it’s been invented for thousands of years, it’s still a conventional method for obtaining water in some villages of Iran. It is even the main pillar of agriculture in arid areas across the country.The Persian Qanats
A 2500-year-old Qanat in Iran
According to the earliest samples of pottery in Iran and other archeological findings, we can claim that the Qanat of “Ghasabe of Gonabad” (kariz Kai Khosrow) is at least 2500 years old. Especially because the only source of obtaining groundwater in northern plains of Gonabad used to be dependent on this technology.
Furthermore, According to the government statistics, the number of active Qanats in Iran is 36300. The longest and the oldest Qanat of the world locate in Iran. Above all, its excising technology is very Informative for Iranologists and anthropologists.
Eleven Qanats in Iran
There are eleven Qanats of Iran on the World Heritage List. Each one is unique in terms of antiquity, architecture, depth, length, and specifications of this kind. These eleven Qanats are as follows:
Qasabeh Gonabad: It is the deepest Qanat of Iran and its mother well is 350 meters deep. Even great earthquakes could not destroy it yet.
Qanat of Baladeh: This Qanat is in South Khorasan Province and is one of the remains of the Sassanid era. Qanat of Baladeh irrigates large portions of agricultural lands near Ferdows. Moreover, this Qanat includes 16 wells and 2 springs.
Qanat of Zarch: It is the longest Qanat of Iran with 100 kilometers length and 2115 wells. In addition, the antiquity of this Qanat corresponds to 2000 – 3000 years prior to Islam and the Sassanid Era.
Qanat of the Moun: Locating in Ardestan near Isfahan, it is the only two-storey Qanat of the world built 800 years ago. This Qanat has shared wells but different aquifers and outlets. On each layer, there is a different water stream flowing separately as none of them mix with the other one.
Qanats in central areas of Iran
Qanat of Vazvan: This Qanat in Vazvan city and Mozdabad Qanat in Meymeh city are registered on the World Heritage List due to having underground dams.
Qanat of Gowhariz: The Qanat of Gowhariz of Kerman is 750 years old and dates back to Safavid Era. Being 3556 meters long and having 129 vertical shafts, it is able to irrigate 330 acres of orchards in Jupar city, near Kerman. The Persian Qanats
Ebrahim Abad Qanat: Ebrahim Abad Qanat in Arak is one of the oldest Qanats across the country, which dates back to early Islamic centuries. It is different from other Qanats because of its antiquity.
Ghasem Abad and Akbar Abad Qanats: These qanats are in Bam and they are on the World Heritage List due to being twins. The Persian Qanats