عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Rapid growth in the world population would substantially exacerbate pressure on all resources particularly water resources and consequently would cause difficulties in global food security. In addition, degradation of water resources is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing almost all countries around the world including Iran. In Iran, the situation is even worse as it is located in a dried and low precipitation region. Thus, before Iran reaches at an irrevocable point, it needs to revisit its development policies. In fact, what is considered as a strategic principle in the path of sustainable development is the balance between the development policies and the state of the existing country's natural resources base, specially the water resources. Thus, in order to manage optimal usage of water resources and to coordinate farm land utilization policies and water resource availability in different provinces, information on water security situation in terms of physical, social and economic factors are necessary. The present study seeks to specify the status of water security in provinces of Iran using water poverty index.
Materials and Methods: Given that water security is a multidimensional concept and it is not possible to use one variable to represent its different dimensions, the indicator method is typically used to evaluate this concept. In the present study, the Poverty Index is utilized to measure water security in different provinces of Iran. This index consists of five main water related components including: Resources Accessibility, Capacity, Consumption, and Environment. These components in turns are determined by various variables such as the volume of groundwater resources and annual surface water per person, the variation of rainfall in a 10-year period, number of household having access to public water pipeline, percentage of population having access to urban wastewater collection and disposal services, percentage of population covered by the social security services, literacy rates in the population over the age of 6, rate of participation, GDP at constant prices, employment rate in non-agricultural activities, annual water usages, percentage of irrigated land, amount of fertilizer and pesticides distributed annually, and percentage of protected areas under the management of the Environmental Protection Agency. These variables are first standardized using minimum-maximum method Then, an index for each of the five components are computed. Next, an index of water poverty is calculated for each province by aggregating all five components. At the end, based on the index of water poverty all provinces are classified into Water Unsafe, Lower safe, Moderate safe, Upper safe, and Full Safe provinces.
Results and Discussion: Results revealed that, five provinces, including Sistan va Baluchestan, Qom, Kerman, Hormozgan and Golestan were the most insecure provinces based on the calculated water poverty index. These regions are facing a severe water crisis. Two provinces, including Tehran and Gilan, had lower safe water security. Also, five provinces, consisting of East Azerbaijan, Zanjan, Semnan, Kermanshah and Lorestan faced upper safe situation, while five provinces, including Bushehr, Chahar Mahaal va Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh va Boyer-Ahmad, Kurdistan and Markazi had full Safe of water security. Other provinces were ranked in moderate safe status in Iran. The correlation between Water Poverty Index (WPI) and its components indicates that all components are positively and significantly correlated with the Water Poverty Index, except for the capacity item. The magnitudes of the calculated correlation coefficients in this study were 0.459, 0.628, 0.776 and 0.518, respectively for resources accessibility, capacity, consumption, and environment components. The consumption item has the strongest relationship with the Water Poverty Index. Consequently, in order to improve water security, it is recommended that policy makers give priority to this item.
Suggestion: Given that the roots of existing water poverty in different provinces were not the same, it is suggested that water policy makers and planners take into consideration the province-specific factors for setting up the planes aiming to prevent more water insecurity in Iran. From this point of view, the WPI results can be used to prioritize the provinces and understand the roots of water insecurity in each of the provinces. Providing water security or water poverty map for Iran is essential for having a clear understanding of water security situation in different regions in Iran and is recommended. Finally, information provided by WPI can be used in efficient management of water resources in different provinces and at national level.