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Overview of Water Management in Iran

Reza Ardakanian

ABSTRACT

At the present time, improvements in water resources management are being sought and implemented as part of the course of socioeconomic changes in Iran, including transformation in the structure of the national economic system and demand-supply mechanism for water. Changes also are being prompted by emerging issues resulting from regional and global water crises.

Studies indicate that the present system is entering a new stage, with widespread economic and environmental consequences arising from its progression over the past 70 years. The current condition has revealed the necessity for adopting coherent, farsighted, and comprehensive plans and actions.

The paper describes the conditions and necessary infrastructure for transitioning from the present stage to a new one. First, the past and present situation of water resources management in Iran is presented. Then, the assessment of future changes, including long-term policies and a related action plan are presented. Finally, a list of plans that were executed in the past and some of their results are presented, with special emphasis on two important factors of water conservation and water reuse.

WATER MANAGEMENT AND SOCIO-HISTORICAL EVOLUTION

The present system of water resources management in Iran began to evolve about 70 years ago under certain historical and social conditions. The general progression of this evolution can be summarized as follows:



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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop Overview of Water Management in Iran Reza Ardakanian ABSTRACT At the present time, improvements in water resources management are being sought and implemented as part of the course of socioeconomic changes in Iran, including transformation in the structure of the national economic system and demand-supply mechanism for water. Changes also are being prompted by emerging issues resulting from regional and global water crises. Studies indicate that the present system is entering a new stage, with widespread economic and environmental consequences arising from its progression over the past 70 years. The current condition has revealed the necessity for adopting coherent, farsighted, and comprehensive plans and actions. The paper describes the conditions and necessary infrastructure for transitioning from the present stage to a new one. First, the past and present situation of water resources management in Iran is presented. Then, the assessment of future changes, including long-term policies and a related action plan are presented. Finally, a list of plans that were executed in the past and some of their results are presented, with special emphasis on two important factors of water conservation and water reuse. WATER MANAGEMENT AND SOCIO-HISTORICAL EVOLUTION The present system of water resources management in Iran began to evolve about 70 years ago under certain historical and social conditions. The general progression of this evolution can be summarized as follows:

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop In the last century (since 1900) the population of the country has increased about six-fold. The population growth rate, which was less than 0.6 percent in the beginning of this period, reached the rate of 3.19 percent in the decade from 1976-1986. Fortunately, it has considerably decreased once again in the last decade. The major changes in population growth rate, resulting from reduction of mortality and increase of natural growth rate, occurred in the 1960s and afterward. Part of the population growth of the last decade has been due to immigration of Afghan refugees. Between 1960 and 1996, about 37 million people (about 60 percent of the existing population) were added to the country’s population. In the period from 1961-2000, the urban population increased by about 31.7 million and the rural population increased by 11 million. In 1956, there were only three cities with a population over 250,000 in Iran, while in 2000 the number of cities with a population of over one million reached seven. The direct impact of population growth on the water resources management of the country was an increased need for potable water in population centers. Indirect impacts were increased demand for agricultural products, development of irrigated lands, and the need for job opportunities and more income, especially in the agricultural sector. The impacts of rapid urbanization included an increased domestic use of water, especially for hygienic purposes, and the emergence of new water needs due to the expansion of cities and improvements in living standards. Under such conditions, new responsibilities have been created for water resources management, of which the most important are the increased importance of protecting population centers against drought and flood, and the ever increasing importance of water treatment to provide hygienic water, as well as collection and sound disposal of wastewater and drainage water. Along with changes that have been described in the areas of population increase, urban development, exploitation of water resources, qualitative and quantitative limitations for these resources, economization and protection of water resources, and protection of the aquatic environment against water pollution have gained importance. Evolution in the Political and Administration System As political and administrative institutions expanded and government became more centralized, especially after the 1960s, the role of planning and budgeting in the fate of the country became more important. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, related social and political changes revealed the need for reform in political and social systems through supporting parliament, encouraging public participation, and privatizing and liberalizing the economy. The needed changes encompass the water management system of the country, including several water resource development projects under implementation, or nearing implementation.

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop Fundamental Changes in the Economic System Existing information indicates that the increase in national economic production before the late 1950s was based on provision of minimum subsistence in society. Since the last years of the Third Development Plan of the country (1966), economic surplus has been taken advantage of for development planning of the country. During the fundamental changes in the economic system of the country, investment in the development of water resources (both by governmental and private sectors) has considerably increased, and the system of water resources utilization has undergone drastic changes. Changes in the Utilization System of Water Resources The appearance of major changes in the water resources utilization system of Iran dates back to the early 1960s. Since then, about 58 big reservoir dams have been constructed and have become operational. The volume of their regulated water is more than 30 billion cubic meters (bcm). Over-exploitation of groundwater has taken place by substituting deep and semi-deep wells in place of qanats. The volume of exploited groundwater has increased by 2.7 times. In total, these changes have resulted in an increase of water exploitation (both from surface water resources and groundwater) from 40 bcm to 90 bcm in 1996 (2.25 times). These changes have expanded the contribution of secure water from 65 percent to 82 percent, and the exploitation of surplus water from watersheds and aquifers to about 5 bcm. Due to the development of water resources and an increased distance between water supply centers and points of use, transmission systems and technology expanded considerably and in complex ways. In urban water supply systems, transmission pipelines, tunnels, pumping stations, and physical treatment (with increased contribution of surface water in securing urban water) have become more important. Along with the government’s increased role in implementation and operation of projects on water security, water supply for cities, irrigation, and drainage networks; the contribution of the governmental sector to the utilization system has also increased. Changes in the Water Resources Management System The trend of changes in water resources management systems can be divided into three stages as follows: Commencement stage (1927-1963) Shaping stage (1963-1979) Changing stage and transfer to new stage (1979 until present).

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop It should be mentioned that the water resources management system has become primarily technology oriented (construction oriented) since the 1960s. The policies on institutional reforms for privatization of more liabilities and mitigating obstructive regulations and laws have been on the agenda of the Cabinet and the Islamic Consultation Assembly (Parliament) since the beginning of the First 5-Year Development Plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Along with these policies and with respect to existing limitations for water related services, the water management of the country has put in force several actions, and many others are being implemented. Among the most important actions under implementation is the establishment of independent urban Water and Wastewater Companies. Another important action is to commit the maintenance and operation of irrigation and drainage networks to farmers and to support them by providing financial facilities. Part of the investments pertaining to urban sewage, irrigation, and drainage projects is based on the Constitution. WATER SUPPLY RESOURCES The main source of water resources throughout the country is annual precipitation. According to studies carried out for formulation of the Water Comprehensive Plan, the main characteristics of annual precipitation and its conversion to water resources are as follows: • Average annual precipitation 417 bcm • Average annual evaporation & transpiration 299 bcm • Surface currents 92 bcm • Direct seepage to alluvial aquifers 25 bcm According to the above figures: About 72 percent of precipitation is not accessible due to evaporation and transpiration, About 22 percent of precipitation flows as surface water resources, About 6 percent of precipitation within the borders of the country is used for direct recharge of alluvial aquifers. Consequently, about 117 bcm of water is directly and potentially accessible by people through precipitation (internal renewable resources) each year. In addition to water resources gained through precipitation within the limits of the country, about 13 bcm of surface flow enters the country across its borders. When this flow is combined with the surface flow with internal origins, the total figure of surface water resources of the country increases to about 105 bcm. Of this amount, about 13 percent (13 bcm) is used for recharge of alluvial aquifers.

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop Accordingly, annually about 130 bcm of water is accessible for people through precipitation and inflow currents across borders (total renewable resources). In addition to naturally processed water resources, about 29 bcm of exploited and consumed water from surface and groundwater resources appears again as exploitable surface water or penetrates to alluvial aquifers as reservoirs. Correspondingly, the total water resources of the country, including such water exchange processes, increase to about 159 bcm. Out of this, 82 percent (130 bcm) are renewable sources, and 18 percent (29 bcm) are return waters that are discharged into surface and groundwater resources and are included in the calculation of total water resources. As annual changes in quantity and quality of consumption patterns take place, this section of water resources also changes quantitatively and qualitatively. In the year 2000, about 43 bcm of surface water resources, including regulated flows, were exploited by reservoir dams, pumping stations, small scale water supply projects, or traditional stream systems. According to present conditions, the amount of groundwater is estimated to be 47 bcm. In the year 2000, total exploitation of groundwater resources was 90 bcm, which is 70 percent of renewable water resources and 57 percent of total water resources (renewable, water exchange, and return flow). WATER USES BY SECTOR The greatest amount of water use (83.5 bcm or 92.8 percent) is by the agricultural sector. Of this amount, about 50 percent is exploited from surface water resources and another 50 percent from groundwater. Exploitation of water resources by the mining sector is about 1.1 bcm or 1.2 percent of total use. About 54 percent of water utilization in this sector is from groundwater resources and the remaining amount is from surface water. Withdrawal of water by the urban and rural water supply sectors is about 5.4 bcm, or 6 percent of total water exploitation of the country, of which about 68 percent is from groundwater resources and the remaining 32 percent from surface water. WATER AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES Water resources management services and related activities are linked with economic structure as well as the trend of economic development. Regarding the existing economic structure of the country, the main points concerning the importance of water follow. Those who manage and exploit water resources at different levels have made high investments for improving and regulating related services. Governmental investments have mainly occurred at a nationwide level, aimed at control and distribution of surface water related to consumption, energy generation, and

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop flood control. Private investments have mainly occurred as disorganized and local efforts aimed at exploitation of groundwater or pumping of water from an adjacent river. Total gross investment until now, based on the fixed prices of year 2000, is estimated to be 100 trillion Rials (U.S. $12.5 billion), of which about 40 percent has been invested by the private sector. Gross capital investments have been about 1.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 5.8 percent of gross national investment. Final cost for water supply from reservoir dams based on fixed prices compared to the 1960s is eight times as much, and the cost of securing water from wells has been tripled. The annual economic value of water and related services (provision and distribution) for agricultural and urban use as well as energy generation, based on 1996 prices, is estimated to be 9.7 trillion Rials (U.S. $1.2 billion). This amount, when combined with the value of water supply in rural areas, water usage by the industrial and mining sectors, recreational utilization, and aquaculture activities that total 10 percent of the above figure, is estimated as 10.7 trillion Rials (U.S. $1.3 billion) per year. This figure represents 8 percent of GDP without including crude oil prices and 6.7 percent of GDP if the oil sector is included. WATER AND FOOD SECURITY Currently, the contribution of irrigated lands to production of cereals is about 69 percent and to production of other products (horticulture and orchards), about 90 to 100 percent. Different methods of securing and exploiting water resources provide different contributions to securing food supplies. With an increased contribution of assured water resources toward total agricultural water resources, the condition of food security has improved to some extent. But other contributing factors, such as productivity of water resources and irrigation standards, have not so improved. Moreover, it remains necessary to strengthen drought management institutions and improve food security during periods of drought in the country. STRUCTURE OF WATER MANAGEMENT At present, the main institution for water resources management is based in the Ministry of Energy, and its main components are as follows: Deputy Minister for Water Affairs (Iran Water Resources Management Organization), Regional water companies, Water and Wastewater Engineering Company (nationwide), and Provincial Water and Wastewater companies, also in important cities (30 companies).

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop Furthermore, about 124 consulting firms and 216 construction companies support the above sections. In the framework of sectional planning, the effective water resources management system has an influence on different social and economic sectors, and reciprocally these sectors leave their impression on the water management system as well. Among those ministries and organizations whose activities have notable impacts on water management systems are Ministries of Agriculture, Industries and Mines, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Health, Roads and Transportation, and finally, Department of the Environment. For collaboration and coordination between the above ministries and organizations, the Supreme Council of Water has recently been established. This Council is presided over by the President of the Republic. All related organizations and ministries, as well as parliamentary representatives, are members of this Council. It is worth mentioning that in the parliament, different committees on water, agriculture, natural resources, budgeting, and development, supervise management activities all across Iran. POSSIBILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT Possibilities for improvements of water resources management exist because of Iran’s vast areas of cultivable lands, big rivers, suitable sites for construction of dams in Zagross and Alborz mountain ranges, extensive aquifers, and suitable climatic conditions for cultivation of different plants. In addition to existing exploitation of the water resources of the country, there is some capacity for physical development of up to 30 bcm of water resources for consumptive uses and up to 50 bcm for energy production, while still observing all economic, social, and environmental limitations. Cultural support for developments in water resources management includes traditions and social institutions that have adapted over time to different geographical conditions, especially in arid and semiarid regions. The best adapted of such institutions allow for effective water resource utilization. Political conditions conducive to developing water resources management include extensive citizen participation in public affairs, strengthening of the parliamentary system, creation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), support of local management, and suitable political background for developing the water and agriculture sector. Existing installations and equipment include large and small reservoir dams, extensive irrigation and drainage networks, water transmission pipelines and pumping stations, treatment plants and water reservoirs, urban water distribution networks, and other facilities. Institutional capacity includes the possibility for experienced national experts to provide consulting and construction services in order to reduce foreign exchange expenses to a considerable extent.

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop Allocation of more water for urban and industrial uses, expansion of nonconsumptive uses of water resources (hydroelectric generation and recreational use of water bodies), and cultivation of profitable agricultural products has led to increased economic value of water, enabling more capacity building for sustainable and economic use of water resources. Reducing limitations and increasing competition will accelerate this process. International Contributions Due to endeavors by international organizations to water resource management in the early 1990s, the policies for attaining sustainable development have entered a new stage. Although this attention was given to natural resources in general, and was not confined to water resources, the water-based problems received particular attention because of their complexity and severity. New efforts to overcome previous obstacles to implementation of the action plan (since a 1977 International Conference on Water) have led to more international conferences and seminars planned for the near future. Such international organizations have had success in confronting regional water conflicts and managing international water basins. International cooperation in these areas can mitigate the problems considerably. Hence, enhancement of international relations can provide opportunities for improvements in water resource management of the country by making the best use of existing knowledge of other countries and fostering negotiation on common issues. One of the advantages of water resources management in Iran is low dependency on international water resources. Only about 7 to 8 percent of water resources of the country are secured from international or common borders. CHALLENGES OF WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Renewable water resources of the country are estimated to be about 130 bcm. Because of rapid population growth, per capita water resources have steadily decreased and will continue to decrease in the future. Geographic distribution of water resources of the country has not been consistent with geographic distribution of population, especially in the last two decades. Hence, there is a growing need for more water transfers in and between basins. The transition from an agricultural economy and renewal of agricultural structure is not yet complete. Land ownership and agricultural activities are still going through transition, and agricultural development still happens mainly through expansion of irrigated lands. In spite of previous endeavors, it is necessary to strengthen the following aspects of water resources management: policy formulation,

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop laws, regulations, criteria, and standards, organizational improvement (coordination, cooperation, different specialization, and decision making processes), water allocation system, personnel planning and management, financial and economic management, information systems and data banks, and technological research and development. Evidence indicates natural and human-made occurrences of destructive floods all over the country. Prevention and mitigation of adverse impacts and losses resulting from such destructive natural disasters are of utmost importance. Normally, cities are more vulnerable to such impacts. Coordination of responsible organizations plays a vital role in such prevention and mitigation. Periodic occurrence of drought is always possible at regional and national levels. Drought has a substantial impact on domestic food production and its contribution to meeting fundamental food needs of Iran’s population. Thus, forecasting and adopting appropriate measures for dealing with drought by water management authorities and other organizations is very important from a national security point of view. The social problems related to the management of water resources are aggravated when impacts of water-related actions are adverse. Measurement of the impacts and remedies for them have key roles in upgrading validity and accuracy of decisions. Environmental criteria and standards must be observed when implementing activities of water resources management. The impacts in largescale water resource projects and in exploitation of groundwater should be paid due attention. DETERMINATION OF ESSENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE FUTURE The existing system of management and exploitation of water resources of Iran has been shaped by the events of the 1960s. Conditions and events since then have increased the importance of national management of water in macroeconomic planning of the country. The increased need for national planning and expansion of water resources management will continue into the future. Conditions and trends that support the need for national level water resources management can be divided into three groups: those past and present conditions that have impacted water resource management and will continue to do so, recent developments whose affects on water resource management can be expected to accelerate into the future, and new trends or conditions that may be expected to have an impact in the future.

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop Past and Present Factors Affecting Water Resources Management The following are conditions and trends that in the past and present have impacted the water resources management system and will continue to do so: Population growth, rapid urbanization, and increase of per capita consumption of urban water have changed the proportion of water utilization in population centers. Growth of industry and rapid industrialization of the country have caused an increasing proportion of industrial water consumption. The growing importance of planning and future forecasting, especially in long term planning, will promote the role of water resources management in development plans. Recent and Growing Developments Affecting Water Resources Management Recent trends that will be accelerated in the future are as follows: Increase in nonconsumptive uses of water resources for energy generation, aquaculture (cold water fish), and recreational purposes. Greater sensitivity and awareness about pollution of water resources and its economic and environmental consequences. Greater sensitivity and awareness of adverse environmental impacts of water resources development projects. Increase in the cost of securing additional water. Prevention of unwise utilization of groundwater resources. Increase in relative contribution of small-scale projects, with more participation of local water users. Increase of the contribution of water substitute management and water renewal installations. Reduction of urban and agricultural water loss, especially in transmission and distribution phases. Collection and sound disposal of urban sewage. Potential Future Factors Affecting Water Resources Management The following trends may play an increasing role in the future of water resources management: Increased pressure to develop surface water resources as compared with groundwater. Collection and sound disposal of industrial wastewater.

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop Treatment and reuse of urban and industrial wastewater. Participation of local residents, users, and stakeholders in financing large-scale water resource development projects. Reduction of water loss from farms. Increased importance of mobilizing financial resources, and of pricing projects and implementation programs. Increased role of national and regional water management in foreign policies, national spatial strategy plans, national physical plans, and regional planning simultaneously with increasing importance of common water basins and export of water, the role of water in national security and food security, and the necessity of adopting basic solutions in critical water basins. It is anticipated that these trends and consequent changes will continue in such a way that national management of water resources will enter a new stage with wide socioeconomic and environmental dimensions. As this stage commences, new duties will confront the water managers of the country, and they may need to gain additional qualifications. Two major actions needed are as follows: Remove or mitigate inadequacies of existing infrastructure and water management systems, and build capacity in water management, especially regarding demand management. For a more specific comparison of the main changes in the aspects of water resources management that have been discussed in this section of the paper, some selected indexes are presented in Table 1, comparing the base year (2000) and a target year (2021). The annual volume of water available for consumptive uses will increase from 97 bcm to 120 bcm (according to projections). In total, about 23 bcm of new capacity is expected to occur. About 92 percent of total capacity of available water will be used at that time. The volume of exploited water will be increased by 138 percent compared to the base year. A part of the additional water utilization will be derived from development of existing unused capacities and the other part will be derived from development of new capacities. Current unused capacities pertain to large reservoir dams. At present, about 8.5 bcm out of a total capacity of 25.4 bcm is not exploited. In order to meet fundamental objectives and determine the main course of movement from present conditions to future ones, an action plan has been formulated. This plan consists of 5 general policies and 35 adaptable strategies (Table 2). Under this action plan framework, an independent execution program can be prepared for each strategy, and the relationships between all the strategies can be derived through determination of general objectives. The main objective is efficient and equitable development and utilization of water resources of the

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop TABLE 1 Baseline (year 2000) and Projected (year 2021) Characteristics of Water Resources Management in Iran Indicator Unit 2000 2021 (selected scenario) Ratio (%) Percent change Total volume of exploited water bcm 97 120 124 +24 Share of water resources, by source   —Groundwater % 52 42 81 –19 —Surface water % 48 55 114 +15 —Recycled (domestic, industrial) % — 3 —   Share of consumption, by sector   —Agriculture and aquaculture % 94 86 92 –9 —Urban & Rural % 6 7 117 +17 —Industry & Mine % 1.2 3 250 +150 Water loss, by sector   —Agriculture % 64 60 94 –6 —Urban % 27 10 37 –63 Volume of return flow bcm/yr 29 40 138 +38 Effluents and Wastewater bcm/yr 4.5 8 178 +78 —Urban bcm/yr 3.7 5.5 149 +49 —Industrial bcm/yr 0.8 2.5 312 +213 Investment   —Total gross investment 1012 Rls 41 262 635 +539 —Contribution of private sector 1012 Rls 40 32 80 –20 Importance in national economy (NE)   —Contribution of water investment from GDP % 1.2 2.6 217 +117 —Contribution of water value and related services in NE % 7.5 9.8 131 +31 Contribution of capital return of expenses of governmental projects   —Urban water % 22 50 227 +127 —Agriculture water % 6 23 383 +283 Economic revenue of water in different sectors (average) Rls/cm 1614 5018 311 +211 Economic revenue of water in farming subsector   —Productivity of agricultural water kg/ m3 0.6 1.1 183 +83 Water and food security   —Role of water in the production of cereals % 69 73 106 +6 —Role of water in the production of other yields % 90-100 90-100 —  

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop TABLE 2 Long-Term Policies and Strategies for National Management of Water Resources of Iran Policies Strategies A. Establish a comprehensive water management system that incorporates natural elements of the total water cycle as part of principles of sustainable development, and makes use of a “national spatial strategy plan” based on natural water basins of the country. 1. Establish a management system for water resources of the country based on integrating and observing continuous elements of the water cycle. 2. Strengthen the main water resources management institution with special emphasis on establishing a comprehensive system for water allocation. 3. Establish suitable multisectional coordination institutions at national and local levels as well as in water basins. 4. Decentralize and develop water resources management abilities at different levels (capacity building). 5. Integrate the plans for development, exploitation, and protection of water resources with other national and regional plans. 6. Prioritize the role of water resources management of the country in planning systems, so that goals, limitations, possibilities, and strategies governing water resources management are reflected in the process of formulating national and regional plans. 7. Promote financial management and capital mobilization in accordance with changes in water resources management. B. Improve productivity by promoting the economic, political, and national security values of making improvements in water utilization, supply, protection, and consumption. 8. Promote public awareness, improvement and transparency of tariffs, and utilization of technical, economic, and managerial instruments. 9. Make better use of qualified personnel and natural potential as well as existing social and local institutions. 10. Anticipate how to mobilize necessary financial resources compatible with value added from development of water resources (appropriate contribution from GDP). 11. Balance the needs for efficiency and social equitability. 12. Promote the advantages and importance of water resources management in food security and national security. 13. Promote productivity capacity in the process of water management cycle and effective factors in economic value of water. 14. Encourage research, education, and propagation of information. C, Increase the rate and quantity of water utilization, and minimize any means of water loss. 15. Develop water resources under national plans and under comprehensive watershed-based plans. 16. Prepare, compile, and execute comprehensive research plans for reducing water loss. 17. Prepare and compile needed research programs. 18. Develop skills and technical know-how to expand upon indigenous skills and optimize prices. 19. Create needed capacities for developing and mobilizing nongovernmental and foreign financial resources.

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop Policies Strategies D. Compile a comprehensive plan for allocating resources among implementation of projects on dams, watershed management, aquifer management, irrigation networks, water quality, drought and famine relief, flood prevention, recycling and utilization of unconventional water resources, development of technological competency, and public participation in water development. 20. Coordinate the timing and scheduling of preparation and execution of complementary water projects. 21. Strengthen water quality management in water resources management systems. 22. Strengthen multisectional coordination mechanisms for enforcement of water quality management policies. 23. Enforce organizational changes for internal and external decentralization, with emphasis on public participation. 24. Make the best use of administrative, financial, and educational mechanisms for encouraging public participation. 25. Prepare and implement comprehensive programs for flood management at a watershed level. 26. Develop necessary programs for drought relief and crisis management. 27. Prepare master plans and implement projects for water recycling and utilization of nontraditional water resources. 28. Promote the development of knowledge and information systems to expand technological know-how. 29. Support industrial plans needed by water resource management and enforce them. 30. Prepare and compile engineering master plans for rivers and riverbanks. 31. Encourage and develop all means of collecting, processing, and disseminating baseline information. E. Control and manage water bodies whose flow naturally exits the country, and prioritize utilization of joint (international) water resources. 32. Prioritize the development of comprehensive plans for controlling border waters, and adopt programs for securing the necessary financing. 33. Encourage regional cooperation and exchange of information. 34. Establish needed structures for coordination in policy and decision making. 35. Prioritize the establishment of qualitative and quantitative data collection and processing systems for information related to water resources along common borders. country in accordance with the socioeconomic and environmental needs of present and future generations. The five general principles (policies) prepared for this action plan and approved by the Expediency Council, are as follows: Establish a comprehensive water management system that incorporates natural elements of the total water cycle as part of principles of sustainable

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop development, and makes use of a “national spatial strategy plan” based on natural water basins of the country. Improve productivity by promoting the economic, political, and national security values of making improvements in water utilization, supply, protection, and consumption. Increase the rate and quantity of water utilization, and minimize any means of water loss. Compile a comprehensive plan for allocating resources among implementation of projects on dams, watershed management, aquifer management, irrigation networks, water quality, drought and famine relief, flood prevention, recycling and utilization of unconventional water resources, development of technological competency, and public participation in water development. Control and manage water bodies whose flow naturally exits the country, and prioritize utilization of joint (international) water resources. ACCOMPLISHED ACTIONS In view of the fact that approval of long-term policies coincided with the commencement of the Third Five-Year Development Plan of the country, there was much effort during the first two years of this plan to carry out these policies. The most important achievements are as follows: The allocated budget for the water sector in the Third Plan has increased by 300 percent (tripled) compared to the Second Plan. Financial resources for the water sector were diversified, including making use of foreign investment in some important projects. Two ministries of Agriculture and Jihad Sazandegi (Crusade for Construction) were merged for upgrading agricultural and natural resources activities. This will play an important role in sectional coordination. The Supreme Council of Water was established, presided over by the President of the Republic and having membership composed of high-level experts and authorities. A Water Comprehensive Plan projecting to the year 2021 was prepared, containing 54 volumes. The preparation and compilation of the Water Comprehensive Plan of the country was put in the agenda of the Cabinet regarding present and future changes. In order to strengthen regional cooperation, the Regional Center on Urban Water Management (RCUWM-Tehran) was established in 2001 with collaboration of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Duties of the RCUWM-Tehran are to promote the transfer of technical knowledge and experience and to promote awareness and capacities in all aspects of urban water management. These duties are aimed at promoting sustainable development and making use of the results of regional activities for the

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Water Conservation, Reuse, and Recycling: Proceedings of an Iranian-American Workshop relative welfare of the population of countries of the region. It is worth mentioning that for commencement of the activities of RCUWM-Tehran and planning for the future, recently a contract has been established with UNESCO’s Institute for Water Education (IHE). For supporting research activities in the water sector, a Water Research Institute has been established. This institute will concentrate on assessing the water resources of the country and enhancing the quality and quantity of related data and information. Extensive national-level programs have begun to be implemented to optimize consumption patterns in the agricultural sector. It is anticipated that with implementation of these programs, major steps will be taken for managing demands in agriculture and promoting water value. A new system of water allocation was developed and put in force to manage existing demands. Attention was paid to wastewater treatment and water reuse regarding the quality management system. Some quantitative goals that have been accomplished are as follows: With construction of 12 new reservoir dams, about 3,700 bcm of additional regulated water was supplied for use by different sectors. About 140,000 hectares of irrigation and drainage network was constructed. With implementation of small scale water projects, more than 352 million cubic meters (Mm3) were secured as regional contribution to water resources development projects.

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