Reflexive Water Management in Arid Regions: The Case of Iran

M.R. Balali, F.W.J. Keulartz, M.J.J.A.A. Korthals

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    To illuminate the problems and perspectives of water management in Iran and comparable (semi-) arid Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, three paradigms can be distinguished: the traditional, the industrial and the reflexive paradigm. Each paradigm is characterised by its key technical system, its main social institution and its ethico-religious framework. Iran seems to be in a state of transition from the 'hydraulic mission' of industrial modernity to a more reflexive approach to water management. This article sketches the contours of the emerging paradigm: a complementary system of traditional and modern methods of water provision, a participatory water resources management and a 'post-mechanistic' ethico-religious framework
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-112
    JournalEnvironmental Values
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Industrial modernity
    • Qanat irrigation system
    • Water


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