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Robbing Yadullah's Water to Irrigate Saeid's Garden: Hydrology and Water Rights in a Village of Central Iran

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Molle, François; Mamanpoush, Alireza; Miranzadeh, Mokhtar
Date: 2004
Agency: International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo, Sri Lanka
Series: IWMI Research Report no. 80
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4516
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): allocation rules
water management
river basins
land tenure and use
Abstract: "When pressure over water resources increases in a given river basin, these resources tend to become fully committed, with little or no outflow at the most downstream point in the basin, at least during some part of the year when river basins are said to 'close.' In such conditions, any decision to further tap existing water (through diversion, pumping from watercourses, drains or wells) at a given point of the hydrological cycle of the basin is almost certain to impact on preexisting users and/or on the environment. Such new developments eventually amount only to a reallocation or reappropriation of water by particular users. This fact points to an intricate and vital relationship between hydrology and water use, or in other words, between nature (with all its climatic uncertainty and complexity) and human activities (partly regulated by institutions). It also defines water as a contested resource and sets the stage for political competition and struggle between users' vested interests. This report provides a case study from the province of Esfahan, in central Iran that, in many respects, is exemplary of these different dimensions. It describes the struggle of a village to secure the water resources without which local agriculture, and altogether life in the village, would be impossible."

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