Mapping Historical Water-Supply Qanat Based On Fuzzy Method. An Application to the Isfahan Qanat (Isfahan, Iran)

Document Type : Research


1 Assistant Professor in Survey Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran.

2 MSc Student in Natural Resources and Environment, Islamic Azad University, science and research branch, Tehran, Iran.

3 MSc. Student in Geographic Information System (GIS), Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran.


According to the geographical location of Iran, it enjoys both arid and semi-arid weather, which has been the cause of water shortage problems. Therefore, water has been one of strategic importance in Iran. When the population dramatically increased in ancient Iran, the demand for supplying water also increased simultaneously and brought about the need for the invention of a new way for supplying water from the ground by using gravity. This invention was named Qanat, and it has an important role for managing groundwater in arid and semi-arid areas like Isfahan. Qanat is a sustainable way for water supply in many regions. As qanat is a cultural heritage which is still prevalent in some regions of the country, it has been of great importance not only in the history of Iran but also recognized around the world as an unprecedented invention. The unparalleled source of this ancient invention and its popularity has led to their preservation in Iran and also made it famous around the world. In this article, due to the importance of its cultural heritage, attempts have been made to find the routes of the qanat in Isfahan using available spatial layers such as flood way, stream, ditch, watercourse, bush, etc. based on fuzzy logic method. To this regard, three different scenarios of fuzzy logic rules are proposed and consequently three paths are obtained for each group of fuzzy rules. Then, the explored routes are compared with the qanat route that was found by geophysics institute in Iran. The similarity of the most desirable map with the actual one was 73 percent.


1. R. Modarres, V.d.P.R. da Silva, Rainfall trends in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran, Journal of arid environments, 70(2) (2007) 344-355. [DOI:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2006.12.024]
2. N. Orlowski, D.L. Pratt, J.J. McDonnell, Intercomparison of soil pore water extraction methods for stable isotope analysis, Hydrological Processes, 30(19) (2016) 3434-3449. [DOI:10.1002/hyp.10870]
3. M. Blokland, G. Alaerts, J. Kaspersma, M. Hare, Capacity development for improved water management, CRC Press, 2019. [DOI:10.1201/b10532]
4. S.H. Alemohammad, S. Gharari, Qanat: An ancient invention for water management in Iran, in, 2017.
5. E. Goldsmith, N. Hildyard, The social and environmental effects of large dams. Volume 1: overview, Wadebridge Ecological Centre, 1984.
6. H.E. Wulff, The qanats of Iran, Scientific American, 218(4) (1968) 94-107. [DOI:10.1038/scientificamerican0468-94]
7. A.I. Wilson, Hydraulic engineering and water supply, in: The Oxford handbook of engineering and technology in the classical world, 2008. [DOI:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199734856.013.0012]
8. F. Nasiri, M.S. Mafakheri, Qanat water supply systems: a revisit of sustainability perspectives, Environmental Systems Research, 4(1) (2015) 1-5. [DOI:10.1186/s40068-015-0039-9]
9. R. Ardakanian, Overview of water management in Iran, in: Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceeding of an Iranian-American workshop, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2005, pp. 18-33.
10. S. Behzadi, K. Memarimoghadan, A Belief-Desire-Intention Agent-based procedure for urban land growth simulation. A case study of Tehran Metropolitan Region, Iran, in: Forum Geografic, 2019. [DOI:10.5775/fg.2019.034.i]
11. H. Goblot, Les qanats: une technique d'acquisition de l'eau, EHSS, 1979.
12. A. Salih, Qanats a unique groundwater management tool in arid regions: the case of Bam region in Iran, International Symposiu m on Groundwater Sustainability, Alicante, Spain, (2006).
13. E. Ehlers, A. Saidi, Qanats and pumped wells-the case of Assad'Abad, Hamadan, in: Qanats, kariz and khattara: traditional water systems in the Middle East and North Africa, 1989, pp. 88-112.
14. H. Motiee, E. Mcbean, A. Semsar, B. Gharabaghi, V. Ghomashchi, Assessment of the contributions of traditional qanats in sustainable water resources management, International Journal of Water Resources Development, 22(4) (2006) 575-588. [DOI:10.1080/07900620600551304]
15. M.-R.B. Golpasand, N.A. Do, D. Dias, Impact of pre-existent Qanats on ground settlements due to mechanized tunneling, Transportation Geotechnics, 21 (2019) 100262. [DOI:10.1016/j.trgeo.2019.100262]
16. C. Li, Y. Cai, J. Qian, A multi-stage fuzzy stochastic programming method for water resources management with the consideration of ecological water demand, Ecological Indicators, 95 (2018) 930-938. [DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.07.029]
17. Y. Fang, X. Zheng, H. Peng, H. Wang, J. Xin, A new method of the relative membership degree calculation in variable fuzzy sets for water quality assessment, Ecological indicators, 98 (2019) 515-522. [DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.11.032]
18. M.S. Munir, I.S. Bajwa, S.M. Cheema, An intelligent and secure smart watering system using fuzzy logic and blockchain, Computers & Electrical Engineering, 77 (2019) 109-119. [DOI:10.1016/j.compeleceng.2019.05.006]
19. A. Altunkaynak, E. Kartal, Performance comparison of continuous wavelet-fuzzy and discrete wavelet-fuzzy models for water level predictions at northern and southern boundary of Bosphorus, Ocean Engineering, 186 (2019) 106097. [DOI:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2019.06.002]
20. M. Webber, B. Crow-Miller, S. Rogers, The South-North water transfer project: Remaking the geography of China, Regional Studies, 51(3) (2017) 370-382. [DOI:10.1080/00343404.2016.1265647]
21. J.G. Nayak, L. Patil, A comparative study of prevalent water quality indices in streams, International Journal of Engineering and Advanced Technology (IJEAT), 4(3) (2015) 208-212.
22. M. Kottek, J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf, F. Rubel, World map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated, Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 15(3) (2006) 259-263. [DOI:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130]
23. H. Gaube, Iranian cities, in: The City in the Islamic World (2 vols.), Brill, 2008, pp. 159-180. [DOI:10.1163/ej.9789004162402.i-1500.47]
24. L.A. Zadeh, Fuzzy sets, Information and control, 8(3) (1965) 338-353. [DOI:10.1016/S0019-9958(65)90241-X]
25. S. Behzadi, Z. Mousavi, A novel agent-based model for forest fire prediction, Earth Observation and Geomatics Engineering, 3(2) (2019) 51-63.
26. F. Dernoncourt, Introduction to fuzzy logic, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 21 (2013).
27. C. Chen, N. Mac Parthaláin, Y. Li, C. Price, C. Quek, Q. Shen, Rough-fuzzy rule interpolation, Information Sciences, 351 (2016) 1-17. [DOI:10.1016/j.ins.2016.02.036]
28. L.A. Zadeh, Outline of a new approach to the analysis of complex systems and decision processes, IEEE Transactions on systems, Man, and Cybernetics, (1) (1973) 28-44. [DOI:10.1109/TSMC.1973.5408575]