Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Plantation Development in the Turkana Basin: The Making of a New Desert?
Previous Article in Journal
Responding to Landscape Change: Stakeholder Participation and Social Capital in Five European Landscapes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Assessing Riparian Vegetation Condition and Function in Disturbed Sites of the Arid Northwestern Mexico
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Groundwater Irrigation Management and the Existing Challenges from the Farmers’ Perspective in Central Iran

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 7 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arid Land Systems: Sciences and Societies)
Full-Text   |   PDF [757 KB, uploaded 23 January 2018]   |  


The sustainable management of natural resources, and particularly groundwater, presents a major challenge in arid regions to ensure security of water supply and support agricultural production. In many cases, the role of smallholder farmers is often neglected when managing irrigated water and land processes. However, management decisions have a major impact on farmers’ livelihoods, and it is essential: first, to recognise the crucial role of regional and local social, political and economic systems; and second, to integrate farmers’ perspectives in the governance and management of local groundwater practices. This is particularly important as the ways in which arid region farmers use land and water have wider implications for land degradation and salinization. This paper uses a community-based approach to identify and examine the social, economic and cultural dimensions to groundwater irrigation systems from the perspective of local farmers in central Iran. The paper utilises interviews with local farmers and water agencies in Iran to reflect on their respective roles within the irrigation system and in developing management plans for the sustainable use of groundwater. Through social research, we investigate the reasons why farmers might reject government irrigation management schemes and outline how local problems with land degradation and salinization and reduced water availability have arisen as a result of changing management policies. In conclusion, we identify future challenges and consider appropriate future management strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: drip irrigation; groundwater; common-pool resource; water rights; local farming drip irrigation; groundwater; common-pool resource; water rights; local farming

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Jafary, F.; Bradley, C. Groundwater Irrigation Management and the Existing Challenges from the Farmers’ Perspective in Central Iran. Land 2018, 7, 15.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Land EISSN 2073-445X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top