Assessing the water governance system for groundwater conservation in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate at Water Resources Eng. Dep. University of Tarbiat Modares, Tehran

2 Assistant Professor at Water Resourses Eng. Dep., University of Tarbiat Modares, Tehran


With no doubt, conservation of groundwater resources is a contested process which demands for getting involved with social and political dimensions, rather than a single technical action. Thus, desirable state of the water governance can facilitate implementation of the groundwater conservation process, because governance system implies for a regulating structure of management processes such as water resource conservation. Therefore, presenting a framework for the assessment of that process based on the Contextual Interaction Theory, the present paper aims to analyze and discuss the structural causes of failure in the groundwater conservation policies in Iran. In the framework, we are going to assess five elements of a governance system, i.e. scales and levels, actors and networks, problem perspectives and goal ambitions, strategies and instruments, and finally the resources (financial, human, …), from the perspective of two general criteria of extent and coherence. The assessment results show that not only the governance system suffers from the lack of comprehensiveness and development (extent) in all of the five governance elements, but also the relatedness and coordination (coherence) of the all elements are in poor conditions. This situation indicates that the current system of water governance has a poor capacity for supporting implementation of the conservation policies; therefore, the main target for enhancing sustainability in the groundwater resources should shift towards amendment and improvement of the water governance structure.


Main Subjects

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Volume 13, Issue 2
September 2017
Pages 32-55
  • Receive Date: 25 May 2016
  • Revise Date: 09 January 2017
  • Accept Date: 09 January 2017
  • First Publish Date: 23 August 2017