(Persia Digest) – The Baladeh qanat aqueducts in northeastern Iran date back to the Sassanid era and irrigates major parts of agricultural land near the city of Ferdows.

The Baladeh aqueducts total 27, but only 16 branches still have water today. Overall, they sum up to around 35kms and irrigate 2382 hectares of land in the Ferdows area.

It is interesting to know that clay is periodically added to the water once it flows above ground to muddy it and minimize evaporation and penetration into the ground. The person responsible for this is called “Tirehgar” or “Mud maker”.

As the volume of water in the qanat was fairly large, it was divided into two streams by the “kial” (water dividers) who were employed on a full-time basis.

The qanat were built before the Islamic period under Sassanid rule.


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In the past, in addition to agricultural irrigation, the water from the aqueducts was stored in reservoirs and provided the drinking water for Ferdows once the mud content had settled.

Eleven Iranian qanats were registered by Unesco World Heritage Site in its 40th conference in July 2016 in Istanbul, of which the Baladeh qanats of Ferdows were one.

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