An Explanation to the Groundwater Challenge in Rafsanjan Plain

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD Candidate of Water Resources Engineering, Tehran University, Karaj, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Water Resources Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor of Water Resources Engineering, Tehran University, Karaj, Iran



In the face of the critical situation of groundwater resources in Rafsanjan Plain, the question arises: Why have none of the policies implemented in order to preserve groundwater resources had a positive effect on controlling the decline of the groundwater level? An analysis of the water problem in this plain was conducted as an introduction to provide water policy in this area taking into account the hypothesis that the problem recognition has not been properly done. It has been explained using the approach of Grounded Theory for data analysis and the framework of Path Dependenty using causal loop diagrams as analytical and graphical tools. Study results show that historically, all factors have contributed to the development of pistachios to become a strong economic stimulus and affect increasing water consumption. The problem of water scarcity was also seen only as a physical constraint, and the measures taken were only targeted to overcome this limitation. It was generally identified that the current state of Rafsanjan groundwater resources is strongly related to the historical path of development of the pistachio crop, and that reforms and changes to water institutions will be more cost-effective in following this path. Furthermore, policy recommendations are provided in detail.


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