Participatory Water Resources Management Strategy: Institutional Analysis and Collective Action Approach (Sahand Dam Downstream)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student, Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Professor, Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.

3 Professor of Hydro informatics, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Research Institute, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran, Invited faculty, Policy Research Institute, Sharif University of Technology.


After about six decades of widespread government interventions, the effects of these measures on the current mechanisms of the water resources management system are undesirable and in some cases, irreversible. Therefore, in recent years, there has been a shift from the focus on the state to a concept of governance, as a system of power distribution, participation, and the use of all social capacities to advance public affairs. One of the frameworks in this regard is the Institutional Analysis and Development framework (IAD), established by Strom. This study, used the IAD framework to evaluate the water resources management system in the irrigation and drainage network of the Sahand dam downstream. The required information was collected through valid documents, observation and interviewing 25 people, including users, managers of water cooperatives and experts of related government organizations. The information obtained through interviews as well as the available documents were analyzed by content analysis method and the results were interpreted in the form of IAD framework. Findings show that due to the subsistence of agriculture in the study area and strong dependence on water resources, free riding in the area interests many; Moreover, inefficient monitoring, and the lack of a proportionate and deterrent punishment mechanism, increase the motivation for infringement. The attraction of the free riding and increasing the motivation to commit violations has weakened the performance of the water resources system of the Sahand Dam downstream network in order to achieve collective action. Accordingly, empowering the local community and water cooperatives in terms of legal power and legitimizing their presence and activities, the participation of the local community in policy decisions to increase the enforceability of policies and Increasing the sense of responsibility in the local community, reforming the laws in the areas of supervision, and deterrent punishment of violators can be considered as policy recommendations of the present study.


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