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Iran Water Governance Assessment Using Swot Analysis

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Arash Akhavan Masouleh, Vahid Askarinejad
Iran Water Resources Management Company1

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 7: Global challenges for water governance,
AbstractToday, freshwater security issues are emerging as a global problem. Increasing the usage of limited resources with growing the population of the world has reduced access to these resources. Iran located in the arid and semi-arid belt of the world considered among countries with limited water resources and because of that, in Iran this vital material is one of the most important factors of development and development of other sector depends on the sustainable use of it. Iran has about one percent of the world's population, but only 0.3% of renewable water resources in the world is. 40 years ago, Iran has a renewable water per capita equivalent to half the global average. This figure has decreased to one- third in the past 10 years. For the next 20 years will be like the equivalent of a quarter.

The traditional approach of governments and experts in Iran has been forecasting and water supply. In this approach demand forecast, find a sufficient supply, its development and water transfer from one region to another, is evident. by increasing challenges in the balance between water supplies and demands, governments and experts finally understand the conclusion that except a few areas which essentially in water shortage, the real problem in terms of water is not only a small amount of water is required to met water needs, but the main problem is the lack of efficient management of water. This leads to the start change of the traditional approach to the integrated water resources management approach in Iran. Now our country is in transition from the traditional approach to the integrated water resources management approach in managerial and professional levels so that awareness and stakeholder's involvement has been rising at least in the critical watershed and commitment and political has considerable progress over the past. The process of water allocation system based on the rights and utilities of all stakeholders including upstream, downstream, water right users, previous investment and environment issues has developed and operational where the criteria of economic, social and environmental used.

This paper presents the current structure and processes of water resources management and evaluates the challenges and available experiences on the transition approach using the SWOT analysis to assess current trends and to provide appropriate strategies for effectively advance the process. Briefly, the current structure of water management in our country since 2005 is shown as below:

* National level

o The Ministry of Energy as the highest levels of policy, planning and decision making for overall management of water resources in the country.

* Governance and basin level

o In 2005: Establishment of Iran Water Resources Management Company (WRM Co.)

o In 2007: Establishment of watershed coordinating deputy in WRM Co.

o In 2013: Establishment of water basins integrated management offices in WRM Co.

* Provincial level

o In 2005: Establishment of regional water companies in each province.

In general, in operational programs, research programs, awareness programs, capacity buildings especially in connection with the manpower, monitoring indicators and also the participation of the private sector and NGOs in the water resources management process, has currently a bigger weakness than the other parts. On the other hand, the opportunities facing the country can be mentioned in following:

* Political supports with the concept of majority support at the highest level, such as the formation of the Water Supreme Council, chaired by the president and members of relevant government

* Knowledge with the concept of the possibility of benefiting from all the experiences and existing national and international knowledge

* Organizational structures with concept of gradual reform of structures to fulfill the requirements of the integrated management, identification and implementation of processes, procedures, roles and relationships in the new structure

Based on the analysis results, WO strategies which are more conservative strategy and focus on take the advantages of opportunities by overcoming weaknesses may be the top priority strategies for decision makers. Among these may be mentioned the following strategies:

* Stakeholders participation in water resources management

* Usage of The NGOs capacity, religious organizations and the media in promoting public knowledge and awareness of stakeholders on the requirements of integrated water resources management in the catchments

* Data transparency and easy access to information resources

* Apply the affecting water resources governance through the establishment of an appropriate organizational structure, training and development of manpower aware with multifaceted concepts of integrated water resources management in decision-making and evaluating the indicators of catchments monitoring

Keywords: Water Governance, Integrated water resources Management, SWOT 1. Agrawal, A. (2001). Common property institutions and sustainable governance of resources. World Development 29(10):1649–1672.

2. Oladele O.I. and Sakagami J.I., 2004. SWOT analysis of extension systems in Asian and West African countries. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment 2(2): 232-236.

3. Pahl-Wostl, C., D. Tàbara, R. Bouwen, M. Craps, A. Dewulf, E. Mostert, D. Ridder, and T. Taillieu (2008). the role of social learning and culture for water resources management. Ecological Economics, 64:484–495.

4. Skelcher, C. (2005). Jurisdictional integrity, polycentrism, and the design of democratic governance. Governance 18(1):89–110.

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