Challenges and Solutions for the Groundwater Governance in Yazd-Ardakan Plain using DPSIR

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD Student, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Aburaihan Campus, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Aburaihan Campus, University of Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Aburaihan Campus, University of Tehran, Iran


In this research, by using participatory approach, governance challenges have been evaluated from the perspective of influential and influenced actors in the Yazd-Ardakan plain. According to the water, food, energy nexus and considering interdependencies of these three sectors, in the first step, key players were identified. In the next step, according to the viewpoints of actors, the factors that led to excessive withdrawal of groundwater resources in each water, food and energy sector were identified as governance challenges. DPSIR framework was then used to assess the governance challenges specified by participatory approach. Eventually, the rules and infrastructure of the water, food, and energy sectors were evaluated. The results showed that in the water, food and energy, respectively, 11, 8, 2 challenges were identified which have led to pressure on groundwater resources. Finally, for the 21 identified challenges, 28 strategies for modifying groundwater governance were introduced that 11, 15 and 2 strategies related to water, food and energy sectors. The most important strategies identified in water, food and energy sectors are: improvement of legal structures for sealing of all unauthorized wells, establishment of formal water market, empowerment of actors, convergence of assessment criteria of water and food organizations, modification of planting plans and food market control, pricing of water and energy resources. The results of this study can help planners and policymakers to reform the laws and infrastructure for modifying groundwater governance and improving the status of aquifers.


[1]. Rogers P, Hall A. Effective water governance (TEC Background Papers, No. 7, Global Water Partnership). STOCKHOLM, Sweden.2003; 48p.
[2]. Saunier RE, Meganck RA. Dictionary and introduction to global environmental governance. Routledge. 2007; 410 pp.
[3]. Global diagnostic on groundwater governance. Special Edition for WWF7. UNESCO.IHP. gef, FAO. World Bank.2015; 200P
[4]. Varady RG, Weert F, Megdal SB, Gerlak A, Iskandar CA, House-Peters L, McGovern ED. Groundwater policy and governance. Thematic Paper No 5. Groundwater Governance, A Global Framework for Action. GEF, WorldBank. UNESCO-IHP. FAO and IAH.2012
[5]. Chilton J, Smidt E. Diagnostic report UNECE region (2nd Draft). Groundwater governance–A global framework for action, GEF. UNESCO-IHP, FAO, World Bank and IAH. http://www. groundwatergovernance. org; 2014.
[6]. Fliervoet J, Geerling G, Mostert E, Smits A. Analyzing collaborative governance through social network analysis: a case study of river management along the Waal River in The Netherlands. Environmental Management. 2016; 57(2):355-367
[7]. Hoff H. Understanding the nexus: Background paper for the Bonn2011 Conference: The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus.Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm.2011
[8]. Halbe J, Pahl-Wostl C, Lange MA, Velonis C. Governance of transitions towards sustainable development the water energy food nexus in Cyprus. Water International.2015; 40: 877–894
[9]. Kazuva E, Zhang J, Tong Z, Si A, Na L. The DPSIR model for environmental risk assessment of municipal solid waste in Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018; 15(8):1-30
[10]. Kardanmoghaddam H, Rozbahani A. Evaluation of DPSIR structure for balancing groundwater resources with multi-criteria decision making and stakeholder participation. Journal of Aqiufer and Qanat (semi-annual).2018; 2(1):29-39. [Persian]
[11]. Eskandari T, Malekmohamadi B, Zebardast L, Azizi A. Integrated environmental assessment of groundwater depletion in Ardebil plain for management solutions. Journal of Environmental Studies.2017; 42(4):687-707. [Persian]
[12]. Hazarika N, Nitivattananon V. Strategic assessment of groundwater resource exploitation using DPSIR framework in Guwahati city, India. Habitat International. 2016; 51:79-89.
[13]. Mehryar S, Sliuzas R, Sharifi A, van Maarseveen M. The socio-ecological analytical framework of water scarcity in Rafsanjan Township, Iran. International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering. 2016; 6(4):764-776.
[14]. Bagordo F, Migoni D, Grassi T, Serio F, Idolo A, Guido M, et al. Using the DPSIR framework to identify factors influencing the quality of groundwater in Grecìa Salentina (Puglia, Italy). Rendiconti Lincei. 2016; 27(1):113-125.
[15]. Borji M, Nia AM, Malekian A, Salajegheh A, Khalighi S. Comprehensive evaluation of groundwater resources based on DPSIR conceptual framework. Arabian Journal of Geosciences. 2018; 11(8):158.
[16]. Jia X, O'Connor D, Hou D, Jin Y, Li G, Zheng C, et al. Groundwater depletion and contamination: Spatial distribution of groundwater resources sustainability in China. Science of The Total Environment. 2019; 672:551-562.
[17]. Anonymous. Basic studies on water resources of Yazd –Ardakan plain.Yazd Regional Water Authority 2016.[Persian]
[18]. Mills M, Álvarez-Romero JG, Vance-Borland K, Cohen P, Pressey RL, Guerrero AM, et al. Linking regional planning and local action: Towards using social network analysis in systematic conservation planning. Biological Conservation. 2014; 169:6-13.
[19]. Weiss K, Hamann M, Kinney M, Marsh H. Knowledge exchange and policy influence in a marine resource governance network. Global Environmental Change. 2012; 22(1):178-188.
[20]. Hansen D, Shneiderman B, Smith MA. Analyzing social media networks with NodeXL: Insights from a connected world: Morgan Kaufmann 2010.
[21]. Noori Esfandiyari A. A conceptual and analytical framework of reforming water governance. 2nd ed. Tehran: Iranian Water Policy Research Institute; 2018. [Persian]
[22]. Bakhshi Jahromi A, Zamani G H, Hayati D, Sadeghi M H. Ax of law to the root of the water: A research analysis of the law of determination for illegal wells. Journal of Irrigation and Water Engineering.2014; 5(2):126-144. [Persian]
[23]. Badisar S N, Ahmadi S M S, Raei M. Legal system of water resources pollution in Iran. Journal of Iran-Water Resources Research.2017; 13(1):101-110. [Persian]
[24]. Asgari S, Kohnavard M, Hadavand M. Inefficient governance of water resources and strategic insecurity. Journal of Social Capital Management.2018; 5(3):457-477. [Persian]
[25]. Banihabib M E.Strategic management of agricultural water demand for the arid zone of Iran. 1nd ed. Tehran:Raze nahan; 2017.[Persian]
[26]. Golkarami A, Kaviani Rad M. The effect of limited water resources on hydropolitic tensions (Case Study: Iran’s central catchment with emphasis on Zayandehrood basin). Journal of Geography and Environmental Planning.2017; 28(1):113-134. [Persian]
[27]. Labbaf Khaneiki M, Rezvani M R, Badri S A. Challenges of territorial cooperation on common groundwater resources; Investigated through grounded theory. Iran Water Resources Research. 2019; 15(1):104-123. [Persian]
[28]. Mirnezami S J, Bagheri A. Assessing the water governance system for groundwater conservation in Iran. Iran Water Resources Research.2017; 13(2): 32-55. [Persian]
[29]. Banihabib M E, Ghafoori Kharanagh S. Assessment of traditional groundwater governance features with effective groundwater governance. Journal of Indigenous Knowledge.2019; 5(9):211-245. [Persian]
[30]. Mashayekhi  S, Ghaderi K. Financial analysis of the cultivation of greenhouse products in Tehran Province. Journal of Agricultural Economics.2013; 7(3):85-100. [Persian]
[31]. Shamshiri R, Kalantari F, Ting K C, Thorp K R, Hameed I A, Weltzien C, et al. Advances in greenhouse automation and controlled environment agriculture: A transition to plant factories and urban agriculture. Internatonal Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.2018; 11(1):1-22
[32]. Moradi M A,Amidpor M, Salimi M, Sadeghi M. Re-evaluation of the program for electric
wells in Iran and presentation of new energy policies. 10th International Energy Conference.2014; Tehran. Iran. [Persian]
[33]. Aien M, Mahjoee M, Abdolahu R, Ahmadi I, Niknafas A,Yahyazadeh F. Plan to increase energy efficiency of agricultural wells using budget resources. 31th International Power System Conference.2016; Tehran. Iran. [Persian]
[34]. Psomas A, Vryzidis I, Spyridakos A, Mimikou M. MCDA approach for agricultural water management in the context of water–energy–land–food nexus. Operational Research.2018; 1-35.
Volume 6, Issue 4
January 2020
Pages 1029-1043
  • Receive Date: 21 April 2019
  • Revise Date: 16 September 2019
  • Accept Date: 16 September 2019
  • First Publish Date: 22 December 2019