Iran to Construct Middle East’s Largest Artificial Lake in Tehran

tehran artificial lake
The greatest artificial lake in the Middle East, in Iran? Environmentalists in Tehran haven’t decided how a giant artificial lake, Chitgar Lake, will impact their city. Developers already have their plans.

As artificial islands in Dubai start to smell foul, authorities from the Iranian city of Tehran are pushing for a giant artificial lake for the western side of the city. Debates on construction of a vast artificial lake in the west of Tehran continues: The critics believe that the environmental impact assessment of the construction has not been done in a correct way and that the method of assessment has become “personal.”

Despite the debate, authorities at the Municipality of Tehran have announced that building the artificial lake (pictured above) will refresh Tehran’s terrible air pollution and will improve the underground water supply. To know a little bit more on >why 27 people a die from air pollution in Tehran, read this piece.

Back to the lake: other advantages that the Municipality are counting on is the fact that the lake will improve tourism to the region, they hope; it will create jobs, control the flowing surface water in the city, and will improve the ecology of the region. Plus they expect it to be eye-catching and photo-worthy. But will it be like Lake Geneva?

To be built next to Chitgar Park (which is famous for its bicycle routes) will be called Chitgar Lake and will have a volume of between 9.5 and 11 million cubic meters. According to the master plan of the 22nd region of Tehran, the area of the whole lake and the surrounding ground covers 330 hectares and the lake itself has an area of 220 hectares.

It is said that it will be the biggest artificial lake in the Middle East, and developers are already laying plans for new apartment complexes for the lake, see below.

Chitgar Apartments Tehran

However the giant dimensions are the point that the critics criticize. As they say, it will not be practical finding a massive amount of water to fill the lake. According to the website of the 22nd region of the Municipality of Tehran, about 80% of the needed water will be provided from the Kan River in the west of Tehran and the remaining 20% will come from the sub-surface waters.

While the river is seasonal and does not contain water in all months of the year, it seems that in addition to the environmental impacts of building the lake, water supply is another serious challenge of the project.

Also the environmental activists believe that by building the lake, 6 to 7 millions cubic meters of water will be evaporated annually and that is too much for a city that has limited water supply.

Building gigantic construction projects like this without an eye on theenvironment, we fear, is going to be a national problem. Human scale construction projects seem much greener at this point.

Read more green news from Tehran:

The Difficulties of Developing Cycling Routes in Iranian Cities

Why 27 People A Day Die From Air Pollution in Tehran

Problems With Rehabilitating the Historical Grand Bazaar of Tehran

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6 thoughts on “Iran to Construct Middle East’s Largest Artificial Lake in Tehran”

  1. Sam says:

    Heres some new pics of the lake. It should be noted that the area of the park and lake is about 2x the size of central park in Manhattan, so if Tehran and Karaj are to fuse into one giant city or become twin cities, having a giant green space is essential. They even extended a subway station to it for easy access for residents in Tehran.!/2013/07/social-scene-at-chitgar-artificial-lake.html

    In response to Mehrdad’s concern I post this video which shows there’s actually lots of beautification projects and urban art underway in Tehran.

  2. I do not trust the fundamental research behind such development projects. As many proponents say, these projects are started just to be a potential ground for having construction contractors and then earn illegal money. This is what many organizations do. There are several large projects of this kind in Iran. I mean the projects that do not have a well-researched basis. Environmental and cultural disasters are some of the results of such projects. The examples are Lake Urmia, the biggest inland lake of Iran (Caspian Sea is the biggest of the world but is not inland) and of the biggest salt lakes in the world is one of the examples. This lake is going to be disappear from the map of Iran in a few years. This occurred because of starting a stupid project of building a bridge on the lake that made the distance of Tehran-Tabriz less. Another example is Sivand Dam in south west of Iran which put the thumb of Cyrus The Great in danger. I’m against it.
    On the other hand, Tehran region needs more beautification projects to promote the urban landscape quality. The urban fabric of Tehran is so dense that it is hard to run rehabilitation and regeneration projects easily. However urban plans should be executed in environment-friendly ways. This is a must.

  3. The land is not built at present. It has a height of about 1100 meters from sea level and also has a slope from north to south.
    Tehran and Karaj (a city of about 1,300,000 people in 30-40 kilometers west of Tehran are growing fast in each others direction. It is expected that these two cities reach each other in 10-15 years, if the same growth rate continues. So the peace of land, which we are talking about, will be in the middle of a vast urban area.

    1. Are you for, or against the lake?

  4. I am curious to know what is on the land under the proposed lake?

    1. Sam says:

      The lake is already filed with water and opened to the public, which appear to be pretty happy with it and are picnic, jet sking, the park has a nice bike trail. In addition lots of lakefront apartments were built around it, and the government already planted an artificial forest and built a nice park adjacent to it. They even brought in Iranian Pink Flamingos into the lake. The pictures online look pretty nice.

      Chitgar lake facebook page

      Chitgar Park

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