Within the “IWRM Zayandeh Rud” project Iranian and German partners have been developing and implementing a generally accepted water management concept for the entire catchment. Both partner countries combine their skills to achieve the project objectives: to make water use along the river sustainable and to balance the competing interests of the different water users.
The German consortium involves 7 scientific institutes and companies specialised in water economics. The Iranian consortium involves 15 governmental bodies, research and consulting institutions. inter 3 is the German project leader and coordinator.
After consulting the Iranian Ministry of Energy it was decided that the Iranian project coordinator would be the Isfahan Regional Water Company, and that all important regional stakeholders have to be involved in the project.
Both partner countries combine their skills to achieve the project objectives: to make water use along the river sustainable and to balance the competing interests of the different water users.
The overarching aim of the project is to present options for integrated water management in Iran and the entire region using the example of the Zayandeh Rud catchment. The project team has been working towards this goal since 2010 in two stages. The focus of the first stage was to get to know the catchment and its main water management actors and institutions, to collect data and to define the necessary tools for IWRM. After these tasks were successfully fulfilled in early 2015, the second stage has now turned its attention towards implementing the IWRM concept.
A necessary precondition for IWRM is that the relevant actors of the affected provinces, sectors and national institutions become aware that they do not only sit in one boat but also have to row in the same direction. IWRM requires discussion and agreement on the measures to be taken and to cooperate in order to reach a common goal.
The IWRM concept provides a step-by-step process where the main national, regional and local stakeholders identify the problems in the catchment and collect ideas for their solutions
This is how it works:
- An idea, for example the withdrawal of water access rights, is fed into the DSS. Now the DSS can show how this proposed measure will impact upon water resources in the catchment.
- Based on this, specific recommendations can be developed which should be adjusted to a vision or overall strategy for the catchment. Eventually a water management decision should be taken which is acceptable for ministers and farmers alike.
- Built on a good and acceptable decision, the planning and implementation of specific measures can be carried out and their status and impact need to be monitored continuously.
- Depending on how well a measure has taken effect, it can be adjusted and ideas on problem solving can be redefined.