Updated Jan 16, 2018

Iranian water cisterns as an alternative water storage

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Ali Moharrek

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Stage 2: Research & Development

In order to access the water, one would go through the entrance (sar-dar) which would always be open, traverse a stairway and reach the bottom where there would be faucets to access the water in the storage. Next to the faucet would be a built-in seat or platform, a water drain for disposing water from the faucet, and ventilation shafts. Depending on where (i.e. what depth) the faucets would be, the water would be colder or warmer. Some storages would have multiple faucets located at intervals along the stairway. Thus nobody had direct access to the body of water itself, hence minimizing possible contamination. The storage compartment is completely isolated from the outside except for ventilation shafts or windcatchers. To further minimize contamination, the storage tank’s interior was scattered with a salty compound that would form a surface on top of the water. The storage tank would then be monitored year round to ensure that the surface had not been disturbed. The water of course would be drawn from the bottom using the pasheer
It is absolutely practical from ancient history of Iran until now. But it will be optimized and flexible with today's need.

Focus Areas:

Agriculture, Economic Growth and Trade, Energy and 5 MoreSEE MORE

Agriculture, Economic Growth and Trade, Energy, Environment, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Research, Engineering and Policy and RegulationSEE LESS

Implemented In:

United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and 10 MoreSEE MORE

United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, India, Brazil, Algeria, United States and AfghanistanSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In

Innovation Description

Cistern :A place with a design and architecture and a place to store water for public use in desert areas.These places, with a unique design.These places blocked the flow of flood, the flood carrying rocks, trees and solid objects immersed, passing through these huge buildings, their devastating energy was evacuated in these places,, with innovative methods it is possible to convert the energy of the floods that they contain to electricity
How does your innovation work?
Some ab anbars had storage space tanks that were rectangular in design, such as inQazvin, as opposed to cylindrical designs in Yazd.[2]There were several designs for the arched roof of the storage spaces of each ab anbar, namelyahang,kalanbu,kazhāveh, or combinations of these depending on the features of the storage space. In the particular example of Sardar-e Bozorg ab anbar in Qazvin, the storage space was built so large that it became known as the largest single domed ab anbar of Iran.[3]Doming the square plan was not an easy task, yet dome construction was not something new to these architects as is evident from the numerous domed masterpieces such asSoltaniyeh. Some sources indicate that the architects would first construct the storage space and then fill it up with hay and straw all the way up to where they could start constructing the dome. After finishing the dome, the straw would be set on fire, hence clearing the space inside. However holes can be seen in the walls of many storage spaces where scaffolding perhaps may have been used. A storage space with a rectangular plan is much harder to dome than a circular one. It is not known why architects in particular places chose rectangular or circular layouts, considering that cylindrical spaces were easier to cover, and were deemed more hygienic for water storage due to lack of any corners in the space.[2]Cylindrical tanks also had the advantage of experiencing homogenous forces throughout the walls caused by earth pressures, as opposed to the rectangular designs. Rectangular plans however have the advantage of containing larger volumes of water within rectangular property limits. Examples of ab anbars with a square plan include the Sardar-e Bozorg ab anbar in Qazvin bySardar Hosein Qoli KhanQajar and his brotherHasan Khan QajarSome required columns to be built inside the storage space. The Sardar e Kuchak ab anbar in Qazvin for example, uses a massive column in the center that splits the space up into four 8.5 X 8.5 meter contiguous spaces, each separately domed. The Zananeh Bazaar ab anbar of Qazvin e.g. uses 4 columns inside its storage tank. The Seyed Esmail ab anbar inTehranfor example, is said to have had 40 columns.

Competitive Advantage

It can be resusedwith the cultural and practical values in sunny countires. also the energy of Water can be change to Electricity.

Planned Goals and Milestones

As an alternative water managementand treatment Good for agricultural matters.


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United States
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United Arab Emirates
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United Kingdom