In recent years, the intensification of drought and unsustainable management and use of water resources have caused a significant decline in the water level of the Urmia Lake in the northwest of Iran. This condition has affected the lake, approaching an irreversible point such that many projects have been implemented and are being implemented to save the natural condition of the Urmia Lake, among which the inter-basin water transfer (IBWT) project from the Zab River to the lake could be considered an important project. The main aim of this research is the evaluation of the IBWT project effects on the Gadar destination basin. Simulations of the geometrical properties of the river, including the bed and flow, have been performed, and the land cover and flood map were overlapped in order to specify the areas prone to flood after implementing the IBWT project. The results showed that with the implementation of this project, the discharge of the Gadar River was approximately tripled and the water level of the river rose 1 m above the average. In April, May, and June, about 952.92, 1458.36, and 731.43 ha of land adjacent to the river (floodplain) will be inundated by flood, respectively. Results also indicated that UNESCO’s criteria No. 3 (“a comprehensive environmental impact assessment must indicate that the project will not substantially degrade the environmental quality within the area of origin or the area of delivery”) and No. 5 (“the net benefits from the transfer must be shared equitably between the area of origin and the area of water delivery”) have been violated by implementing this project in the study area. The findings could help the local government and other decision-makers to better understand the effects of the IBWT projects on the physical and hydrodynamic processes of the Gadar River as a destination basin.
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