(Persia Digest) – Following climate changes in Iran over recent years and long-drawn periods of drought and flash floods in some parts of the country, the old way of storing water in reservoirs has been revived here once again.

In the past, one of the main methods of storing drinking water in Iran was the construction of a reservoir called ab-anbar (water reservoir). This is a covered area underground, built in the natural slope of the earth to conduct as much rain and flowing water as possible towards it.

The construction of ab-anbar as a public building and service in Iran dates back to the advent of civilization in this country. The oldest water reservoir discovered here is from the second millennium BCE in the excavation site of the city of “Dourantash” in the Elamite settlement of Chogha Zanbil, in Iran’s southern Khuzestan Province. Remains of water reservoirs and numerous canals have also been discovered dating back to the Achaemenid era, near Persepolis and on the islands of the Persian Gulf from the Sassanid era.

This ancient method has been revived once again in recent years, following long periods of drought in various parts of the country, especially in the southern provinces where villagers have taken to building water reservoirs in the traditional way to store water.

The town of Khanj, 200kms from Shiraz, is one the places where the largest number of ab-anbar have been built. It is said that there are nearly 1000 of these in the city, with the capacity to store an average 1200 million cubic meters of water in the rain season every year.

The architecture of these water reservoirs is different in every region of Iran. in Khanj and southern areas of Fars Province, these are dome-shaped with hatches incorporated around it for ventilation.

Photos: Vahed Markazi Khabar

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