Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activity on Water Resources, Case Study: Karun River

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor, Desert Research Department, Research Institute of Forest and Rangeland, AREEO, Tehran

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Geology, University of Tehran, Tehran

3 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Semnan University, Semnan


Climate change and human activities, including dams, are keywords in water resources management that directly affect water ‎exchanges between surface and groundwater resources. The purpose of this study is to determine the ‎contribution of human activities (dam construction) and climate change (hydrological drought) ‎on the water resources of the Karun River. For this purpose, the study area of Gotvand-Aghili was selected. By analyzing ‎the Iranian matrix, the effects of dam construction on water resources were determined. ‎The results showed that there are 6 and 4 negative effects ‎in the column and row respectively. However, the matrix shows that the consequence and impact of tourism development and ‎recreational activity and surface water quality are less than -3.1. Continuously, to determine the contribution of climate change in ‎water resources, hydrological and hydrogeological drought indices were calculated over ‎an 11-year statistical period. The results of comparing the electrical conductivity in the sampled points show a significant increase that was consistent with the ‎results of the Iranian matrix. Comparison of SDI and GRI indices shows that from ‎‎2012 to 2015, there was no hydrological and hydrogeological drought in the region, ‎and based on this, part of the aquifer decline can be considered as a result of the ‎construction of the Gotvand Olya Dam. ‎


‎[1]. ‎Forests and Rangelands Research Institute. Hydrogeological studies of Karun catchment area, Comprehensive dust studies of Khuzestan. ‎(2019a). ‎(Unpublished report) ‎(Persian)‎‎
‎[2]. ‎Forests and Rangelands Research Institute. Hydrological studies of Karun catchment area, Comprehensive dust studies of Khuzestan. ‎(2019b).  (Unpublished report) ‎‎(Persian)‎
‎[3]. ‎Manouri M. Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment of Dams, Capacity Building ‎‎and Fundamental Strengthening Project for Environmental Impact Assessment in Iran, ‎‎Environmental Protection Agency Publications. ‎2001. ‎(Persian).‎
‎[4].  Shabankari M, Halabian H. Investigation of environmental effects of Zayandehrud dam lake. Human and Environment. 2010; 8 (No. 1 (12- 23 consecutive)): 29-42. (Persian)‎
[5]. ‎Wang QG, Du YH, Su Y, Chen KQ. Environmental impact post-assessment of dam and reservoir projects: a review. Procedia Environmental Sciences. 2012; 13:1439-43.
‎[6]. ‎Iran Water Resources Management Company, Office of Standards and Technical ‎Criteria, ‎Guidelines for Assessing the Effects of Environmental Dam Construction Projects ‎‎(Detailed Step). 2005. Journal No. 250-A. ‎(Persian)
‎[7].  Heritage SN. A handbook on environmental impact assessment. Guidance for Competent Authorities, Consultees and others involved in the Environmental Impact Assessment Process in Scotland, Scotland. 2013.
‎[8]. Pirestani, M.R., Shafaghati, M. Study of environmental effects of Dam construction, Quarterly Journal of Human Geography. 2009; (3)1: 39-50. ‎(Persian)‎
‎‎‎[9]. ‎Environmental Protection Organization. Environmental Impact Assessment of ‎‎Construction Projects, 2008; 9. ‎(Persian).
‎[10]. ‎Rahmati A, Nazarian A. Socio-economic and environmental effects of settlements subject to relocation due to dam construction (Case study of Upper Gotvand Dam, Karun River). Scientific Quarterly Journal of Environmental Research. 2010; 2: 53-66 ‎(Persian)‎
[11] Jozi A, Saif S, Seyed H. Environmental risk assessment of Upper Gotvand Dam in the operation phase using the combined method of preliminary hazard analysis and EFMEA technique. Environmental Science, 2014; 40 (1): 107-120
[12] Sayadi A, Partani S. Environmental Impact Assessment of Gotv and Hydro-Electric Dam on the Karoon River Using ICOLD Technique. International Journal of Environmental and Ecological Engineering. 2009;3(6):118-25.
‎[13]. ‎Liu L, Hong Y, Bednarczyk CN, Yong B, Shafer MA, Riley R, Hocker JE. Hydro-climatological drought analyses and projections using meteorological and hydrological drought indices: a case study in Blue River Basin, Oklahoma. Water resources management. 2012;26(10):2761-79.
‎[14].  Mendicino G, Senatore A, Versace P. A Groundwater Resource Index (GRI) for drought monitoring and forecasting in a Mediterranean climate. Journal of Hydrology. 2008;357(3-4):282-302.
‎‎[15].  Russo TA, Lall U. Depletion and response of deep groundwater to climate-induced pumping variability. Nature Geoscience. 2017;10(2):105-8.
‎[16]. ‎Ghasemi Dastgerdi A.R. Monitoring and forecasting of groundwater droughts in ‎‎Shahrekord plain using GRI index and Markov chain model. Journal of Hydrogeology. 2019; ‎‎4(1): 111-125 ‎(in Persian).‎
‎[17]. ‎Zandifar S, Fijani A, Naeimi M, & Khosroshahi M. Temporal and Spatial Changes of Groundwater Drought Index, Case Study: Venus Watershed - Surgery. Hydrogeology. 2019; 4 (2): 108-130  (Persian)
‎[18].  Chen Z, Grasby SE, Osadetz KG. Relation between climate variability and groundwater levels in the upper carbonate aquifer, southern Manitoba, Canada. Journal of Hydrology. 2004;290(1-2):43-62. ‎
‎[19]. ‎Jahanbakhsh S, Karimi F. The relationship between drought and groundwater ‎‎resources. The final report of the research project of Tabriz University.2009. (Persian)‎
‎‎[20]. ‎Shati S, Akhund Ali A.M. 2018. Investigation of the effects of recent hydrological drought period on the salinity of Karun River. Iranian Journal of Irrigation and Drainage, 12 (5), 1202-1189 ‎(Persian)
[21]. ‎Salehvand, A. Sabzevari, A. 2014. Investigation of environmental pollution of rivers and ‎water quality changes in recent years (Carron's case study at Gotvand station). First National ‎Conference on Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Environment ‎(Persian)‎
[22] Hashemifard A, Kordvani P, Asadian F. Analysis of the effects of pollutants of human origin on the water quality of Karun River (Gotvand Dam to Ahvaz). Quarterly Journal of Regional Planning, 2018; 8(30): 146-155.
[23]. Baqadashtaki B, Khamehchian M, Nazari M.H. Determination of solubility of amber salt mass located in Gotvand and its effect on reservoir water quality, First Conference on Applied Research in Iranian Water Resources, Kermanshah. 2010. (Persian).
‎[24]. ‎Report of Geological Engineering Studies of Anbar Salt Mass. Studies of the Third Stage ‎of Gotvand Project, Company Mahab Quds. 2008. ‎(Persian)
‎[25]. ‎Makhdoom M. Four points in evaluating the effects of development, Journal of ‎‎Environment and Development. 2009; 2(3): 9-12. ‎(Persian)
‎[26]. ‎Eskandari Domaneh H, Zehtabian Gh, Khosravi H. Azare A. Review and ‎analysis of temporal and spatial relationship between meteorological and hydrological drought in ‎Tehran province. Geographical Information Quarterly. 2015;96 (24): 113-120. ‎(Persian)
‎[27]. ‎Forests and Rangelands Research Institute. Surface water quality studies of Karun catchment area, Comprehensive dust studies of Khuzestan. ‎(2019c). (Unpublished report) ‎(Persian)‎
‎[28].  Fard MJ, Amanipoor H, Battaleb-Looie S, Ghanemi K. Evaluation of effect factors on water quality of Karun River in downstream and lake of the Gotvand-e-Olya Dam (SW Iran). Applied Water Science. 2019;9(7):161. ‎
‎[29]. ‎Farshchi DM, Sadatifard A, Hassani H, Zia A. Upper Gotvand Dam and hydro power plant: dealing with salinity in reservoir, challenges, remedies and evaluations. In Int. Symp. Dams Global Environmental Challenges. 2014. ‎
Volume 7, Issue 4
January 2021
Pages 993-1005
  • Receive Date: 12 July 2020
  • Revise Date: 21 October 2020
  • Accept Date: 21 October 2020
  • First Publish Date: 18 December 2020
  • Publish Date: 21 December 2020