Participatory approach in Aquifer Storage and Recovery management in Arid zones, does it work?

M. Bagheri, M. Kholghi, S. M. Hosseini, F. Amiraslani, A. Hoorfar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) with treated wastewater, is considered as an effective solution for a critical aquifer decline due to groundwater overexploitation. In ASR operational step and after the aquifer storage phase, the problem is the new groundwater right for stakeholders and specifically farmers. In a 2-year study, the potential of a participatory approach for solving this problem was investigated and applied in Fashafoeyeh aquifer in southern Tehran Province. This aquifer faces a critical situation of groundwater from point of view of quantitative and qualitative aspects. Firstly, five indicators were considered including agricultural efficiency, water resource efficiency, water governance, local participation, and economic factors. Then 23 farmers and agricultural landowners were selected based on age, education, and gender. A questionnaire was designed, surveyed, and filled out after interviewing them in several field trips to the site. The results of data analysis showed that 96% of farmers and landowners were highly motivated in the implementation of the participatory approach in ASR management. Moreover, 91% showed a high desire to decrease the groundwater withdrawal from wells. A high percentage of stakeholders had a tendency to participate in some aspects of ASR system. In the meantime, many farmers had a negative viewpoint about government supports. The results illustrate a correlation between agriculture efficiency with participation in the government's projects and implementation. Moreover, a correlation exists between water management in the field and participation in government's projects as well as local participatory. This research emphasises on proper planning through face-to-face dialogue with farmers and landowners. In this regard, they collaborate in a participatory approach, as well as a technical and social team to implement the aquifer storage and recovery management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100368
JournalGroundwater for Sustainable Development
Early online date12 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the Regional Water Company of Tehran (contract Nr. 3-73-155 with the University of Tehran ) for providing the financial support and the requested data, to thank farmers and stakeholders in Fashafuyeh plain who fill out questionnaires. The authors would like to thank the University of Tehran for its support. Also, the authors would like to thank Dr. Shrikant Limaye for their technical comments on the paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Aquifer
  • Groundwater
  • Iran
  • People participation
  • Storage
  • Treated wastewater


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