• Drought: the achilles heel of the Islamic Republic of Iran

      Shahi, Afshin (2019-01)
      Approximately 97% of the country is experiencing drought conditions. Due to gross water mismanagement and its damaging impact on the country, Iran faces the worst situation in water resources of any industrialized nation. Tens of thousands of villages have been deserted and most of the major urban centers have passed their limits to absorb new rural migrants. Some officials predict that in less than 25 years, 50 million Iranians would be displaced from their current homes because of the pressing ecological conditions. This is happening at the time that the gap between the grassroots and the state has widened and there is increasing dissatisfaction with governance plagued by corruption, nepotism, economic mismanagement, unaccountability and a foreign policy which has produced various regional and trans-regional adversaries. This paper evaluates the pressing ecological challenges in Iran and by conceptualizing political resilience it critically evaluates whether the Islamic Republic is prepared to face the devastating ecological crisis and its socio-economic consequences.
    • Managing Water Amongst Competing Uses: The Usangu Wetland in Tanzania

      Franks, Tom R.; Lankford, B.; Mdemu, M. (2004)
      Demand for water in the Usangu Basin is driven by a number of competing uses. These include domestic supplies, irrigated agriculture, livestock, fishing, maintenance of the Usangu wetland, a National Park and major hydroelectric system downstream. As a result of a number of driving forces including the growing population, the water resources of the basin are becoming increasingly stressed, and downstream flows have now reduced to zero during the dry season. The paper is based on recent work to study to situation and work with local stakeholders to develop a sustainable management plan for the basin. Irrigated rice is by far the biggest user of water in the basin. The paper traces the successful development of irrigation there since the 1950s, based both on state-managed mechanised farms and on smallholder production. However, the expansion of irrigation has been a major factor in the change in water availability downstream, particularly as the cropping calendar expands into the dry season, when river flows are at their lowest. A number of initiatives are under way to try to reduce the impact of irrigation on the basin's water resources. These include projects to increase irrigation efficiency in smallholder systems, and improvements to water management institutions and processes. The aim is to restore dry season flows for downstream users by the year 2010.
    • Water Governance and Poverty: A Framework for Analysis

      Franks, Tom R.; Cleaver, Frances D. (2007)
      This paper engages with policy on meeting development goals for water through interventions, which promote good governance. Addressing an under-researched area, we propose a new analytical framework for understanding water governance, not as a set of abstract principles, but as interlinked processes with variable practical outcomes for poor people. The framework is informed by theories of governance, institutions and structuration, empirical research and field insights. We apply the framework to a case in south-western Tanzania, and we identify a range of issues for further research, particularly relating to water access for the poor.