Analyzing the Impact of Human and Environmental Factors on Stakeholders’ Conflict in the Zayandehrood Basin

Document Type : Thesis Article


1 PhD Student, Agricultural Extension, Communication and Rural Development Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Agricultural Extension and Education Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Agricultural Extension, Communication and Rural Development Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran.

4 PhD in Hydraulic Structures, Isfahan Regional Water Organization, Isfahan, Iran.


Conflicts over water among stakeholders are intensifying, as the water crisis in the watersheds escalates. Increased conflict in basins can be the result of various human and natural factors, including inappropriate governance and resource management and climate change. This study aims to investigate the natural and human factors affecting the severity of conflicts among different stakeholders in the Zayandehrood Basin, review the strategies proposed by managers and policymakers, and analyze the strategies implemented in recent years to reduce conflicts in the Zayandehrood Basin. The study used a qualitative methodology based on grounded theory. A sample of key experts and managers of relevant organizations were selected using the snowball sampling technique and the data were collected using semi-structured interviews. The results showed that the experts and managers perceived human elements, such as socio-cultural factors, increased demand for water, inter-basin water transfer policies, and governance factors, to have the greatest impact on conflict management. Moreover, environmental factors such as climate change have intensified the conflict in the basin by rainfall and water resources decline. On the other hand, human factors such as governance and policies in the water crisis and the resulting conflict have had much more impact than natural factors. Some strategies, such as strategic management, inter-basin water transfer, and increased monitoring have been used to manage the conflict caused by the water crisis in the basin. On the other hand, some managers and policymakers believe that some of the implemented strategies have not only been unable to help the stakeholders reduce conflict in the basin, but have also increased tensions in the basin.


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