Dams and Landslides: A Cautionary Tale of Hoseynabad-e Kalpush Village

Causal relationship found between 2019 Iranian landslide and dam construction, scientists say

In recent decades, dam construction has been on the rise worldwide, driven by the need for water supply and energy generation. However, there have been concerns about the potential risks associated with building dams, including an increased likelihood of landslides in nearby areas. A recent study has shed light on a clear connection between reservoir filling and landslide incidents, specifically in Hoseynabad-e Kalpush village in Iran.

In March 2019, a devastating landslide struck the village, causing severe damage to 300 houses and cutting off access to the nearby dam. Local authorities initially attributed the landslide to heavy rainfall but denied any connection to the dam. Researchers from the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam analyzed satellite data and found that the movement of the slope began shortly after reservoir filling started in 2013.

The study published in Engineering Geology highlights that accumulating water in a dam raises local water tables, making soil more susceptible to movement. This led to reactivation of an ancient landslide that eventually gave way after heavy rainfall in 2019. The findings underscore the importance of considering potential risks associated with dam construction and implementing measures to mitigate them, especially in areas prone to landslides.

Engineers and policymakers need to understand how reservoir filling impacts geological structures and take appropriate measures to mitigate risk. The incident at Hoseynabad-e Kalpush serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the need for thorough risk assessment and planning when building dams. By understanding these potential consequences, we can work towards sustainable and safe water management practices that benefit everyone.

In conclusion, while dams are necessary for providing water supply and energy generation globally, it is crucial to consider their impact on nearby geological structures and implement measures to mitigate risks associated with them. By doing so, we can ensure sustainable development that benefits everyone without putting lives at risk or causing environmental damage.

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