Participatory Planning and Integrated Water Resources Management: A Case Study of the Eastern Rural Areas of Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate Professor in Geography & Rural Planning,Geography Department Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran.



Purpose: One of the main challenges of water resource management in rural areas, especially in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran, is the disconcerted management in governmental executive departments, including the Water Supply Organization, which is an executive department under the Ministry of Energy, and the Department of Policy Management and Operations, which is affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture. There are also rural water users who play a role in this challenge. They are actually the rural communities in different forms and compositions with different production methods in the popular sector.
Methods: Documentary and field studies were conducted to examine the role of participatory planning in integrated water resources management on the purpose of achieving sustainable rural development.
Results: In a systematic approach to water resources, which always calls for integrated water resources management, there is a loop of connections among the required actors and forces. Participatory planning by designing livelihoods and sustainable production patterns (i.e. using the methods and techniques of the participatory planning of local communities), and the establishment and strengthening of facilitation systems make good links in the integrated management of water resources in rural areas.
Conclusion: The results of the studies carried out in eastern Iran, including the provinces of northern Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, South Khorasan and Sistan and Baluchestan, indicate that informed, all-inclusive, and rural-based participatory techniques and facilitation measures in organizations and systems within the framework of participatory planning techniques can facilitate the achievement of a sustainable approach to integrated water resources management, which ultimately achieves more success in sustainable rural development.


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