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Water Quality Characteristics of Some Iranian Streams and Lakes

Caspian Sea Area

Table 1 shows the results of analyses of a number of streams flowing from the Alborz mountains into the Caspian Sea.

The waters of most of Caspian streams fall in the moderately hard to relatively hard categories. In many cases the calcium-magnesium hardness was close to 200 mg/l.

Hard waters are more productive of aquatic life than soft waters. When stones in the streams were examined, mayfly nymphs, stonefly nymphs, and a few caddisfly larvae seemed to be everywhere conditions were favorable for them, even in quite silty waters such as the Shahrud. Futhermore these waters should conduct electricity well, making it possible to shock fish for fish samples without placing salt blocks in the streams above sampling points.

Tabriz Area

Table 2 shows the results of water analyses in the Tabriz area where there was greater variation in the hardness of the streams than in any other area visited. Many streams had waters that were in the relatively hard category. The hardest water sampled (820 mg/l) was found in the Talkheh Rud which drains areas with salty soils. It finally reaches Lake Rezaiyeh, a very large salt water lake. The softest water sampled was that of the Basmenj Chay (70 mg/l) which flows down from Kuh-e-Sahand, a mountain of 12,000 ft southeast of Tabriz. The Aghlaghan Chay a beautiful stream flowing from the southern slopes of Savilan mountain had a calcium-magnesium hardness of only 100 mg/l at Nir while the Khiav Chay (Darreh Rud) on the north slope of Savilan mountain was among the softest and coldest waters sampled (calcium-magnesium hardness 80 mg/l, temperature 7.5°C).

Two lakes in the Tabriz area with unusual water quality characteristics were visited. Lake Ghoohrygol with a calcium-magnesium hardness of 140 mg/l, had a total alkalinity of 350 mg/l, and conductivity of 2,500 micromhos. The chloride content of this lake which has no outlet was 74 mg/l. Total dissolved solids amounted to 594 mg/l, on 6 November 1968.

Lake Shurabel at Ardebil proved to be saltier than sea water with a total chloride content of 24,800 mg/l, conductivity of 60,000 micromhos, and total dissolved solids content of 80,000 mg/l.

Vladykov (1964) has already described the chemical nature of Lake Rezaiyeh water which is several times saltier than sea water.

Isfahan Area

The principal stream in the Isfahan area, the Zayandeh Rud, was sampled at the Shah Abbas Dam site and at Pol Kalleh. At both points the water showed the same total alkalinity and calcium-magnesium hardness: respectively, 160 mg/l and 180 mg/l or “moderately hard” water. The stream had cold water at both points.

Table 3 gives the results of water analyses made in the Isfahan area. The only other waters sampled were streams originating from ghanats. One of these near Shahr Kord had a calcium-magnesium hardness of 160 mg/l and the other near Golab had a hardness of 180 mg/l, indicating that probably all waters in this area are moderately hard.

Table 1

Results of Analyses of Streams and Reservoirs in the Caspian Sea Area

Name of StreamLocationDateTimeTemperature °Cmg/l
AlkalinityCalcium-magnesium hardness
ShimroodMosha29 Sept.153026.3136144
Gorganrud (Kargerud)Hashtpar 1133019.2170150
NavrudAsalem 1124519.0140150
KahleseraKahlesera 1121520.8120120
DinachalDinachal 1110019.0230220
ShafarudPunel 1100018.2180168
ShandermanShanderman 2103019.5180190
KhalkaeiTahergurab 2123021.9240245
AbaterHighway 2125026.0140150
Msoole RudKasma2130026.5140160
Gasrud Khan (Pishrud)Jamaen Basar 2140224.6100100
GasrudbarDowgur 3150524.5140160
PasikhanRasht-Fowmen Highway 5131526.0120130
ShalmanShalman 7104021.7150130
PolerudHighway 7113021.0200200
KhoshkehrudHighway Shirud 7115521.5140130
Khanama Spring2 km east of Khoshkerud 7120319.0110110
Dehkadeh Spring2 km east of Atapur 7  -19.8150170
Shirud11 km west of Shahsavar 7145522.5210210
ShahsavarShahsavar 7153020.5180210
SardabrudHighway near Chalus 8090520.5210210
ChalusChalus 8083019.5160240
GouharroodSangar Canal 9154521.5110110
SiahrudSangar Canal 9152021.6180170
SefidrudAbove Tarik Dam10084520.1125265
ShahrudPol Lowshan10093019.0170240
SiahrudRasht10  180170
ShahrudMenjil (7.4 km above mouth)10093019.0140240
Dascht NazirDoab191600 205210
TalarWest of Shahi (Kiakola)21135723.6170290
Palang TalehShirgah21163020.8180170
Stream near lakeLapoo Lake221230 210230
Abbscabad ReservoirBehshahr221430 190185
Kalarud RiverHamze-Kala231130 ?210235
Heraz River15.7 km below Poloor24093010.0180240
LarPoloor241050  6.8150180


Results of Water Analyses of Streams and Lakes in the Tabriz Area

Name of StreamLocationDate 1968 Nov.TimeTemperature °Cmg/l
Total alkalinityCalcium-magnesium hardness
AzarshahrAzarshahr 7  920  6.5210180
GhalachayAjabshir 71055  9.0270250
SofychayBonab 8- -220120
Zarineh RudNourouz Dam site 8 11.8210180
SiminehrudMiandoab 8154012.8260350
Talkeh Rud (Aji Chay)Vinar 9  930  7.8200820
West of MaghsoodluMaghsoodlu 91230 -270350
Zarna ChayZarna 9143013.8195290
Basmanj ChayBeraj101540  6.0  90  70
Ojan ChayBostanabad11  930  5.4300300
Vaneq Chay (Ghesel Chay)West of Sarab111015  8.0200410
Ghury ChayWest of Sarab111045  8.8100160
Sarab RudSarab11111010.0160140
Puslar ChayEast of Sarab11114010.5-130
Ziri ChayZiri11124513.2230200
Aghlaghan ChayNir11135513.5120100
JourabchayEast of Nir11141512.5100 90
Shakhe-AhadWest of Ardebil north side Savilan mountain12  845  5.0280250
Onar ChayArjeh121000  8.0105140
Khiar-Chay (Darreh Rud)Meshkinshahr121037  7.5  45  80
Ahar-Chay3.4 km above Ahar12134513.0290240
Lake Ghoohrygol 1Shebli Pass 40 km East of Tabriz 61300  -350140
Lake Shurabel 2Ardebil11160014  --

1 Total dissolved solids 596 mg/l; chlorides 74 mg/l; conductivity 2,500 micromhos

2 Total dissolved solids 80,000 mg/l; chlorides 24,800; conductivity 60,000 micromhos

Although the area lacks streams other than the Zayandeh Rud, the potential for fish ponds in this area, because of new irrigation canal plans and development, is greater than any other area visited.

Shiraz Area

The results of water analyses of streams and springs in the Shiraz area are given in Table 4.

The most important stream from the standpoint of fish culture in the area is the Kur River which has relatively hard water at 210 mg/l.

The fine large springs at Dashg-Arjan and Chehelcheshmeh have relatively hard waters with favorable temperatures for rearing trout. Since both are bubbling springs, their waters will require mechanical aeration before use in trout culture to remove excess carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

The Quareh Aghaj and upper Kur River have been recommended for stocking with rainbow trout by Nümann and Hosseinzadeh (1968). They have also recommended rainbow trout stocking in the Lighvan Chay and Karun Rivers. Souf have also been recommended for stocking in the Kur and Zayandeh Rud Rivers.

The stocking of a carnivorous fish, such as the Souf in the same waters with trout (except in “two-story” reservoirs) is not considered good management.

Table 3

Results of Water Analyses of Streams in the Isfahan Area

Name of StreamLocationDate Nov. 1968TimeTemperature °Cmg/l
Total alkalinityCalcium-magnesium hardness
Zayandeh RudPol Kalleh231150  7.9160180
Qanat Stream17 km west Shahre Kord of231250 16.7140160
Zayandeh RudShah Abbas Dam261250  8.5160180


Results of Water Analyses of Streams in the Shiraz Area

Name of StreamLocationDate 1968 Nov.TimeTemp. °CpHmg/l
Free CO2Total alkalinityCalcium magnesium hardnessChlorides
Quareh AghajHossainabad15105010.07.7-17045075.0
Khatiri RudKhanehzanian15143011.07.0-21055060.0
Dashg-Arjan springDashg-Arjan15121013.27.724.0180290  5.0
Chehlcheshmeh springsChehlcheshmeh15133012.07.620.0220350  7.5
Kur RiverMarv-dasht17160012.08.6  6.0220210110.0  
Sivand RiverPersepolis19125511.18.6  4.023521040.0
Tazang SpringSarvestan17131022.07.422.0170360127.5  
Ateshkadeh SpringTang-Roniz (Darab)17143018.57.320.0160410110.0  
Aghlanghez SpringsKorsia1883021.07.520.018021017.5 
Naghsh-Chahpur SpringDarab18110023.08.324.0190210 -

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