River Basin Organizations in Iran

Assessment and Best Practices

Iran, and in particular the Zayandeh Rud river basin, is facing water scarcity. Different sectors and provinces compete for the scarce resource, which leads not only to ecological and economic problems but also to social conflicts.

The reasons are climate change as well as water management. A paradigm shift is needed to overcome outdated management approaches and introduce integrated water resource management and corresponding institutional concepts.

„The current water crisis is first and foremost a crisis of water governance.“ (Global Water Partnership 2002)

The solution to challenges in water management lies in the application of integrated concepts. According to this motto, a new river basin organization was established for the first time in Iran in cooperation with the Iranian government as part of the BMBF-funded IWRM Zayandeh Rud project. It is considered a pilot project that aims at expanding to other areas in the country and replacing outdated management approaches.

The report provides an overview of the current status as well as opportunities and challenges of river basin organizations in Iran, especially in the Zayandeh Rud basin, and highlights best practice examples from around the world.