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Iran: A glance at world 7th largest marshland in Sistan

Zabol, Sistan-Baluchestan prov, Nov 19, IRNA-The drought-hit Hamoun Lake near the provincial city of Zabol considered as the world seventh international marshland and habitat in Sistan area is being refilled.

The lake situated 4,000 square kilometers to the north and west of Zabol includes various parts named Sabouri, Pouzak and Hirmand and plays an undeniable role in the life, durability and economy of the area.

Despite being subject to natural disasters over the past eight years, the current conditions show that the crisis in the relevant environment is being harnessed.

During the recent droughts, Hamoun Lake had changed into a center of crisis, where sand kept flowing in the area.

However, as a consequence of seasonal rainfalls of last fall and winter in the central part of Hirmand River, once more water started flowing into Hamoun Lake.

The great impact of Hamoun Lake upon the climate of Sistan area turns it into one of the most charming natural attraction.

Given it is located at Iran-Afghanistan common watershed, the droughts and floods hitting it depends upon the water flowing into it from various rivers such as Khash, Farah, Harout, Shour, Hosseinabad, Nehbandan and particularly Hirmand.

During various periods, the lake's water capacity at times even exceeded 10 billion cubic meters, which is comparable to that of reservoir dams such as Dez, Sefidroud, Lar, Zaiandehroud, Kor in Karaj, Latian, Zarrinehroud and Minab.

The volume of water flowing towards Sistan area eventually ending up in Hamoun Lake depends upon the water flowing into Hirmand River.

With an area measuring 35,000 kilometers, Hirmand is known as the largest river flowing into Iran's central desert and Afghanistan.

The 1,100-kilometer river originates from Baba-Yaghma mountain in central Afghanistan.

Iran's share of Hirmand River depending upon the amount of Hamoun Lake water has been specified in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both countries in 1972.

According to the inked MoU, comprising a preface, 12 articles and two protocols, Afghanistan is committed to provide Iran with 26 cubic meters of water per second -- 820 million cubic meters per year -- via Hirmand River in Sistan area.

Prior to drought, various industries including agriculture, fishing, cattle breeding, handicrafts, carpet weaving, straw mat weaving among others closely associated with the flow of water of Hirmand River towards Iranian border in Sistan and the eventual full capacity of Hamoun Lake were more common.

Before Hamoun Lake was hit by drought, fishing was the second occupation after agriculture practiced by the residents of rural areas of Sistan.

Before being hit by drought, the world seventh international marshland served as a safe habitat for various species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Some 300,000 migrant birds including various species of ducks, pelicans, flamingos and herons annually arrived at Hamoun Lake from northern Siberia and laid eggs during their stay in Sistan area due to its favorable climatic conditions.

Besides, the surroundings of the lake used to be the habitat of more than 100 species of animals including foxes, wild cats and boars.

The view of bird flocks flying above Hamoun Lake, various species of animals living around and the 120-day seasonal breeze played a crucial role in creating a beautiful and memorable perspective in the area.

Given the recent climatic changes and the resumption of flow of water into the lake, some species of migrant birds are now seen arriving at the marshland.

... Payvand News - 11/19/05 ... --

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