Fatemeh Sepahvand; Karim Naderi Mahdei; Saeed Gholamrezai; Masoud Bijani
Introduction: In Iran, out of 88.5 billion water resources, about 83 billion cubic meters or 93.5% is allocated to the agricultural sector and therefore agriculture is the largest consumer of water. Increasing population, increasing cultivation areas, and agricultural productions have increased the consumption ...
Introduction: In Iran, out of 88.5 billion water resources, about 83 billion cubic meters or 93.5% is allocated to the agricultural sector and therefore agriculture is the largest consumer of water. Increasing population, increasing cultivation areas, and agricultural productions have increased the consumption of these resources. Eventually, increased consumption leads to a decrease in the water table and drainage of aquifers. Statistics show that many of the plains are currently in crisis. Romeshkan plain is one of the plains which has faced a significant reduction of resources in the recent decades. The purpose of this study was to develop the strategies for the sustainable management of water resources in this plain. Romeshkan plain is a forbidden plain, but there are still many exploitations in it. Crops are planted in this plain that need a lot of water. This research hasinvestigated the strategies of sustainable management of groundwater resources in Romeshkan plain using theFuzzy Delphi technique.Material and methods: The present study is an applied and descriptive research (non-experimental). The statistical population included 28 faculty members, experts, and farmers in Khorramabad and Romeshkan. The sample size was estimated using the purposeful snowball sampling method. Secondary data were also obtained from government departments to identify and describe the Romeshkan plain. Data on water resources of Romeshkan plain were required. These data show how much water resources have dwindled over the last three decades.Results and discussion: The results showed that despite the criticality of the Romeshkan plain, the livelihood of rural communities is mainly dependent on the agricultural sector. Also, hydrophilic crops are widely cultivated. In this plain, the structure of supply and exploitation of water resources is traditional. The agricultural lands of this plain do not have a new irrigation system. The results of this research show five types of strategies (economic, technological, environmental, policy-oriented, and social). The priority of the strategies was "develop sustainable rural employment". This will certainly require "human development of water-related actors and empowerment of rural communities". "Developing the right technologies", which was another strategy, could also help reform the traditional structure of supply and consumption of these resources.Conclusion: Now the conditions of Romeshkan plain are critical. The results of this study showed that sustainable management of groundwater resources in this plain will not be achieved solely based on technological strategies. Also, economic, social, policy-oriented and environmental strategies must also be considered. Reform of the water consumption structure should be considered in parallel with the development of non-agricultural employment. Because the development of employment reduces the pressure on these resources.