The first brick of the Gotvand dam that was laid wrongly has currently made an environmental disaster for Al-Ahwaz region. Today, the only achievement of the dam is salting the Karoon River.
The volume of salt that has accumulated in the dam reservoir is estimated at 8.2 million tons, which since its utilisation and until March 2014 had been stored behind the dam.
The dangerous positioning of the dam on a slope of the Aanbal mountains caused the formation of salt behind the dam and as a result, the salt was being deposited into the Karoon River, causing the increase of salinity of the river.
The dam has as an average added about 350 units of salt into the river. If the saltwater continues to enter the river, it will no longer be a fresh water source and the life that depends on it will die away.
The River is the primary source of fresh water for the Ahwazi people. Salinity and scarceness of water were also the cause of huge losses in the production of dates. This year the production of this product in the region has decreased by as much as 60 percent as well as the destruction of millions of palm trees as a result of the salinity and the contamination of water.
The vegetation of Ahwazi lands has been lost, and the soil reduced to dust and eroded as a consequence of dryness of Rivers creating dust bowls on a vast scale not seen before. The salt accumulation in the Gotvand dam reservoir is estimated currently at 8.2 million tons. Since March 2014, salt has been stored behind the dam. However, incorrectly building the dam on a slant in the Aanbal Mountains has resulted in an increasing level of salinated water seeping into the Karoon River. The dam now added 350 units of salt into the river.
The adverse effects of which will result in Karoon dying away and leaving the Ahwazi people with an environmental disaster, the river being their major source of water.
Many of Ahwazi people view the gravity of the crisis will ultimately lead to the destruction of Ahwazi local economy which entirely dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry in most parts of Ahwaz.
Destruction of natural and water resources of Al-Ahwaz region is an act of ethnic cleansing. The eventual outcome would be the migration of its inhabitants of and abandonment of their lands, which would make it easier for the Iranian Occupation state to grab the lands and resettle the land with Persians.
In this case, Ahwazi environmentalists believe the only solution to solve the water shortage problems and water salinity, is to remove the dams that have been built in recent years and led to environmental destruction.