Zayande-Rud, Zayandeh-Rood or Zayanderood (Persian: زاینده رود), is the largest river in the central plateau of Iran. In the early 2010s, the lower reaches of the river dried out completely after several years of seasonal dry-outs. Zayanderud as one of the most important rivers in Iran, stretches over four hundred km from west to east. The existence of the city of Isfahan and the surrounding area depends on this river. In addition to its function in the city, the river has a fundamental role in the agriculture and a large section of industry in the province of Isfahan. But its most important aspect is the part it plays in lifting the spirits of the people of Isfahan. When they feel tired or depressed, they take refuge in the tranquillity of the riverside and enjoy the beauty of its famous historical bridges which are one of the main attractions of the city.
Photo by Younes Kolahdouz – Isfahan From Above (Zayanderood bridges) ( پل های مارنون، فلزی، سی و سه پل و فردوسی )
Photo by Ali Zigpha – Zayanderood
The citizens of Isfahan had been denied this pleasure for many months. Following the reduction of rainfall in the area in recent years, most probably as a result of global warming and climate change, the Zayanderud dried up. This greatly damaged agriculture, including the orchards and rice fields around Isfahan, as well as the fish and wildlife dependant on the river.
In this multimedia report, we revisit this magnificent river and hear some of the residents describing the significance of the river in their lives.