Assessment of the Ecosystem Balance of Integrated Water and Food Governance using an Adaptive Actor-Oriented Approach

Document Type : Research Article


1 MSc Student of Water Resources Engineering, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Aburaihan Campus, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Irrigation Engineering, Aburaihan Campus, University of Tehra, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Irrigation Engineering, Aburaihan Campus, University of Tehran, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Genetics and breeding of vegetables, Iran Aburaihan Campus, University of Tehran, Iran

5 PhD, Newcastle Research teammate for Sustainability Research, Iran


The shortcomings of unitary governance have increased the need to refer to integrated governance of food and water to achieve sustainable development. In this research, an approach has been developed that evaluates the governance of food and water comprehensively and through the use of the principles of sustainable governance. The failures in the Minab watershed and the lack of a practical framework for assessing and analyzing comprehensive food and water governance have made this research necessary. The principles of sustainable governance of water and food were developed using research on sustainable governance and sustainable development goals. Accordingly, in the present study, a total of 12 principles and 69 indicators were developed for the ecosystem-balance in food and water governance. The research data were obtained through a face-to-face questionnaire and face-to-face interviews with 40 actors influencing food and water governance. The results showed that 2.89% of the indicators had a favorable status and 97.11% had a poor status. The score for the ecosystem-balance in food and water governance is 2.56 out of 5 and with regard to score 3 as a desirable situation, which points to the failures in the current structure of food and water governance. The current research highlights the challenges of integrated governance of water and food, such as effective stakeholder engagement and for the ecosystem-balance, and contributes to their sustainability. According to the approach presented, the governance structure in arid and dry regions that are highly dependent on agriculture and groundwater can be evaluated in terms of actors and adaptability.


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Volume 7, Issue 2
July 2020
Pages 359-371
  • Receive Date: 06 December 2019
  • Revise Date: 15 March 2020
  • Accept Date: 15 March 2020
  • First Publish Date: 21 June 2020