Use conflicts due to climate change are clearly palpable
The Zayandeh Rud in central Iran supplies around 4.5 million people with water. At the same time, it is the most important water supplier for industry, agriculture and fragile ecosystems in the region. As in other arid and semi-arid regions, the Zayandeh Rud catchment area is characterised by use conflicts between the water-using sectors and the natural environment. Climate change and overuse of resources have already led to the river’s complete desiccation in recent years. Pressure is growing on those responsible to develop and implement a balanced water management concept.
Phase II: From analysis to practical implementation
Since 2010, the project "Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Isfahan" has been supporting Iranian officials in designing an IWRM process. The next phase has started under the title "IWRM Zayandeh Rud". Scientists and companies will develop and implement measures for improved resource use in the agriculture, industry and urban water management sectors, develop training modules and establish a German-Iranian training centre for the water sector by 2018 under the leadership of inter 3. In addition, the water management model is to be expanded and implemented as a decision support system (DSS).
The focus of the first project phase was on analysing the water management situation in the Zayandeh Rud catchment area from technical, organisational, economic and ecological perspectives. The water management model developed as a result demonstrates to those responsible in the Iranian water sector the individual, competing water uses in the region and the possible impacts of various management decisions.
German-Iranian cooperation: reaching the goal together
Together with the Iranian partners, possible strategies for sustainable and more efficient resource use are developed in the project for all sectors, so that technologies and know-how from Germany are not only transferred, but adapted locally. In this way, a permanent implementation of the project results can be ensured.
In addition to the use of innovative irrigation technologies, approaches for a socially and environmentally compatible transformation in agriculture are being developed and tested together with the farmers. In the industrial sector, the focus is on how freshwater resources can be conserved, such as through the reuse of treated wastewater. In the field of urban water management, water consumption patterns of households are analysed and optimisation measures in the infrastructure are implemented. Capacity development and training modules are an integral part of the process in all sub-projects and pilot projects. Staff from the water sector, in particular trainers, are trained to pass on knowledge with practical relevance to the latest technological developments in a German-Iranian Water Competence Centre.