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Environmental Values

Reflexive Water Management in Arid Regions: The Case of Iran

Mohammad Reza Balali , Jozef Keulartz and Michiel Korthals

Environmental Values 18 (2009): 91-112. doi: 10.3197/096327109X404807


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.


Water, Qanat irrigation system, industrial modernity

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Caring for Nature: What Science and Economics Can't Teach Us but Religion Can. Holmes Rolston, III

Technology and Epistemology: Environmental Mentalities and Urban Water Usage. Nicole Stuart

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Modern Water Ethics: Implications for Shared Governance. Jeremy J. Schmidt and Dan Shrubsole

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