Water Resources Assessment Using an Integrated Approach Based on Water Accounting, A Case Study of Mashhad Plain

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Former Graduate Student, Department of Water Resources Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran

2 Faculty member - Water resources Engineering department, Tarbiat Modares University

3 Assoc. Prof., Department of Water Resources Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


Assessment is both a fundamental step in integrated water resources management and one of the most important stages in planning and implementing such management systems. Water accounting is regarded as a tool for organizing and combining the data collected from various sources to develop an information system that will provide a tool for the integrated assessment of water resources by combining relevant physical and economic data. Based on these observations, the present study was designed to analyze the present status of water resources in Mashhad Plain as the study area. For this purpose, the framework proposed by the UN was adopted and water accounts of the study region were compiled for the years 2001 and 2006 to extract the relevant assessment indicators. In a second stage, the policy options emerging from the available documents and regional development plans were examined and a final evaluation of the water use policies in the study area was conducted using an analytical system dynamics model in SIMULINK. Results indicate that not only can the present local acquifer declines be reduced but significant improvements can also be made in the gross productivity rate across the region by correcting and updating the present water allocation policies (especially by correcting agricultural water uses and reallocating water to other sectors) provided that assessments are based on a regional rather than a farm scale. For instance, if allocation to high water consuming crops such as tomato and sugar beets or livestock is stopped to reallocate part of the water saved to the service industry, the regional water productivity will be enhanced by 5690 and 2115 IRR per cubic meter for the years 2006 and 2001, respectively.


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