Risks and Repercussions: Understanding the Connection Between Dam Construction and Landslides

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

In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in dam construction worldwide. This is due to the need for both water supply and energy generation. However, building dams comes with its own set of risks, including the increased likelihood of landslides in nearby areas. A recent study has shed light on this issue, showing a clear connection between dam construction and landslide incidents.

In March 2019, a devastating landslide struck Hoseynabad-e Kalpush village in Iran, causing severe damage to 300 houses and cutting off access to the nearby dam. Initially, local authorities blamed the landslide on heavy rainfall, but researchers from the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam found that the movement of the slope began shortly after the reservoir started to fill in 2013.

The study was published in Engineering Geology and highlights the importance of considering potential risks associated with dam construction. Engineers and policymakers must take into account how reservoir filling impacts nearby geological structures and implement measures to mitigate the risk of landslides. The incident in Hoseynabad-e Kalpush village serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the need for thorough risk assessment and planning in dam construction projects. By understanding these potential consequences, we can work towards more sustainable and safe water management practices in future projects.

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