Perspective of Local Households Toward the Social Consequences of Establishing the Behesht Abad Dam in the Origin Basin

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Graduate Student, Agricultural Extension, Communication and Rural Development Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Iran.

2 Associate professor, Agricultural Extension, Communication and Rural Development Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Iran.


Constructing reservoir dams for inter-basin water transfer has been considered as one of main strategies of policy makers for managing water shortage in recent decades. However, this strategy can lead to negative social, economic and environmental consequences. The purpose of this paper is to study the views of local rural and urban households regarding the social effects of constructing the Behesht Abad reservoir dam and the inter-basin water transfer project on the local communities. The research was conducted in Behesht Abad watershed, as the origin basin, located in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province. It aimed at how local rural and urban communities would be affected if a dam was constructed. In this survey, a sample of 200 out of 3514 households was randomly selected, and the data were collected through structured interviews using a questionnaire. From the perspective of the local communities, the dam construction would increase the emigration of local people, leading to marginalization of emigrants in the outskirt of cities; weakening the local households' participation in their communities and increase of job vulnerability, particularly such activities as crop farming, animal husbandry and the related services. Also, land prices in the area would be adversely affected by the dam construction. This perspective was significantly affected by variables such as respondents' age, education level, and households' animal units. This shows that the respondents at higher ages, more children, and more animal units assessed the impact of the dam construction more negatively, while more educated people had more positive attitudes toward this issue.


Main Subjects

Boyd, C. E., (2015). Water quality: an introduction. (2, illustrated ed.). London: Springer, 2015.
Brown, P. H., Tullos, D., Tilt, B., Magee, D., & Wolf, A. T.(2009). Modeling the costs and benefits of dam construction from a multidisciplinary perspective. Journal of Environmental Management, 90, S303-S311.   
Beck, M. W., Andrea, H. C, and Peter, J. H., (2012).  Environmental  and livelihood impacts of dams: common lessons across development gradients that challenge sustainability. International Journal of River Basin Management, l1: 1-20.
Burke, M., Jorde, K., & Buffington, J. M., (2009). Application of a hierarchical framework for assessing environmental impacts of dam operation: changes in streamflow, bed mobility and recruitment of riparian trees in a western North American river. Journal of Environmental Management, 90, S224-S236.
Campbell, H. B., (2013).Breaking Ground: Environmental and Social Issues of the Three Gorges Dam in China,” TED Case Study; a-dam impact.html.
Davies, B. R., Thoms, M., & Meador, M .(1992). An assessment of the ecological impacts of inter-basin water transfers, and their threats to river basin integrity and conservation. Aquatic conservation: Marine and freshwater ecosystems, 2(4), 325-349.
Diop, M. D., Diedhiou, C. M., & Niasse, M. (2009). Sharing the benefits of large dams in West Africa: The case of displaced people: London and Dakar: IIED and Global Water Initiative (GWI). February.
FAO. (2015). Thematic discussion water uses. Rome: FAO.
Iranian News Agency (IRNA), (2016). Beheshtabad designs and Koohrang 3 runs, 13/08/1395
Halabiyan, A. (2010). Water Resources Management (Case Study: Challenges for water from the river Beheshtabad), Fourth International Congress of the Islamic World Geographers, 27 and April 28, 2010, Zahedan.
Hussein, and Ali Asghar legend, Mirek born (2015). Analysis of the socio-economic effects of the dam on Rural Development (Case Study: Dam Suleiman), Journal of Geography Planning, 19(53).
International Rivers. (2013). Hydropower Dams in Cambodia. campaigns.
Iran Power and Water Resources Development Company. (2016).
Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W., (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and psychological, 3, 607-610.
Malek Hosseini, A., Mirkzadeh, A. (2014). Socio-Economic Impact of Damping on Rural Development (Case Study: Dam Soleymanshah), Geographical and Journalism Research Journal, 19 (53).
Open Development Cambodia (ODC). (2014). Briefing on hydropower. Cambodia: ODC.
Parvizi, E. (2014). Determining the Effects of Shah Qassem Yasuj  Dam from the Viewpoint of Utility Villagers. Master’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Professor Ahmad Khatoon Abadi, Faculty of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology
Rahmatian, A., & Nazariyan, A., (2010). The effects of economic, social, environmental settlements are subject to displacement caused by dams (Case Study: Upper Sdgtvnd and Karun River), Journal of Environmental Research, 1(2).
Samadi Boroujeni, H. (2012). Beheshtabad water transfer project in the central plateau in terms of rules and regulations. National Conference between the areas of water, 3 Persian date Khordad 2012, Islamic Azad University, Shahr.
Siciliano, G., Urban, F., Kim, S., & Lonn, P. D., (2015).   Hydropower, social priorities and the rural– urban development divide: The case of large dams in Cambodia. Energy Policy, 86, 273-285.
Tilt, B., Braun, Y., & He, D., (2009). Social impacts of large dam projects: A comparison of international case studies and implications for best practice. Journal of Environmental Management, 90, S249-S257.  
Taheri Saffar, M.  Shahnoushi Foroushani, N., & L., AH (2015). The effects of economic, social and environmental impacts of dam construction time Nishapur, Journal of Geography and natural hazards, (15).
Water and Wastewater Planning Office. (2016).
Yaghobi Farani, A., Izadi, A., (2014). Assessment of Ecological and Social impact of Fadami Dam Construction on Agricultural Development of the Area Journal of Geography and Development, 14(42).