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Universität Hohenheim (2019)

Exploring the governance of traditional water reservoirs in the Mazandaran province, Northern Iran

Mirzaei, Arezoo

Titre : Exploring the governance of traditional water reservoirs in the Mazandaran province, Northern Iran

Die ‚governance‘ von Wasserreservoirs im Nordiran und in der Provinz Mazandaran

Auteur : Mirzaei, Arezoo

Université de soutenance : Universität Hohenheim

Grade : Dr.sc.agr. in Agricultural Sciences 2019

Résumé partiel
This study explores the governance of water reservoirs in the Mazandaran province, Northern Iran, from the perspective of public and private sectors at the regional level, as well as local stakeholders within the communities. Although water management in Iran has been frequently investigated, research which specifically addresses the governance of water reservoirs in the Mazandaran province from perspective of various stakeholders is not existent. The traditional water reservoirs in the Mazandaran province called Ab-bandan are used to collect the precipitation during autumn and winter seasons to be used for irrigating rice fields during the growing seasons (spring and summer). In spite of these reservoirs, a significant amount of precipitation runs off into the sea through rivers and only less than 10% of precipitation is being stored in Ab-bandans. This is due to the challenges in governing these water reservoirs such as lack of strategic planning of administrative bodies. This draws attention to the poor governance of water reservoirs in the Mazandaran province, which presents a major challenge to ensure the security of water supply, and in particular for rice production. Thus, the objectives of this study are : 1) to identify gaps in the governance of Ab-bandans, 2) to identify and assess the policy instruments for the improvement of the governance of Ab-bandans, and 3) to investigate the influence of social capital components on the governance of Ab-bandans among local stakeholders. These objectives form the papers of this cumulative Ph.D. dissertation. The first paper reveals water governance gaps with the focus on Ab-bandans using the ‘OECDs Multi-level Governance Framework’ as a conceptual basis. This framework is a guideline for policy-makers in all countries in order to distinguish public governance gaps regardless of the institutional setting. Identifying the gaps could provide an input for policy-makers in order to prioritize options to strengthen the governance of Ab-bandans. A modified Delphi technique was used to identify these gaps by face-to-face interviews and ranking round. Interviews were conducted with individuals working in public agencies and the private sector pertaining to water management. The results show that the lack of a specific law for Ab-bandans is perceived as the most acute gap. However, the significant issue is that there is interdependence among all the gaps and they can strengthen one another. Therefore, a holistic perspective is needed to understand and resolve the gaps in the governance of Ab-bandans. There is no magic or ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to overcome the gaps and a mix of solutions is required.

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