German-Iranian Project Team Develops Measures for Sustainable Water Resource Management in Iran

Oct 09, 2022

The BMBF project "IWRM Zayandeh Rud" was successfully completed and celebrated with the opening of a German-Iranian training center.

The Zayandeh Rud river in central Iran supplies water to more than 4.5 million people. The region around Isfahan is one of the most important industrial and agricultural production centres in the country. However, the river has repeatedly dried up over long stretches in recent years.

Besides climatic changes, the reasons for this are above all the demand for water for agriculture, drinking water and industry, which has been exceeding the water supply more and more for years. The conflicts of use arising from inconsistent and intransparent water allocation have repeatedly led to social unrest.

In 2010, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) therefore launched a project on integrated water resource management with the aim of developing sustainable water management for the Zayandeh Rud catchment area.

Under the leadership of the inter 3 Institute for Resource Management, solutions for more efficient water use and wastewater reuse in various sectors were developed, new technologies tested, recommendations given on agricultural transformation and organisational development, and a computer-assisted decision-support tool was developed.

In the project team, scientists and companies from both countries worked closely together to adapt technologies and management strategies tested in Germany to the specific situation in the catchment area and to implement them successfully. This was to ensure the transferability of the technologies and methods.

German-Iranian cooperation: know-how and technology transfer to be consolidated

The second phase of the project ended with a two-day final conference in Isfahan in December. About 150 participants informed themselves about the project results and discussed possible future joint activities. Further efforts are needed, however, to implement the pilot work.

In his welcoming address, Dr. Christian Alecke from the BMBF's Resources, Recycling and Geosciences Department underlined the good cooperation between Germany and Iran in the field of know-how and technology transfer in the water sector.

From the Iranian side, important decision-makers from the Zayandeh Rud catchment area, such as the chairmen of the water authorities and water companies, the agricultural organisation and representatives of the environmental authority or the managing director of the river basin organisation attended the conference. Symbolically, the products of the project were handed over to the Iranian partners.

The newly opened German-Iranian Training Centre for Water and Wastewater Management, which has been set up in Isfahan, is to play an important role in the continuation of the cooperation. For each competence area own training modules are compiled and then trainers from all over Iran are trained both technically and didactically, so that a competent trainer pool is developed over time.

More than 100 trainers have already taken part in pilot trainings during the course of the project. However, the centre is intended to be more than just a training location, but also an exchange platform and showroom for German technology companies. The training center was ceremoniously opened by Dr. Christian Alecke and the Iranian Vice Minister for Research, Ali Akbar Mohajeri.

The research project "IWRM Zayandeh Rud" was funded by the BMBF within the framework of the funding measure "Integrated Water Resources Management: From Research to Implementation (IWRM)". In Iran, the Ministry of Energy supported the project and appointed the Isfahan Water Authority as local project coordinator. Numerous other institutions were involved in the project activities, e.g. governor, agricultural and environmental authorities, Isfahan University of Technology and industrial enterprises.

In addition to inter 3, the German project partners included the IT company DHI-WASY, the engineering company p2m berlin, abc advanced biomass concepts GmbH, the German Association for Water Management, Waste Water and Waste, the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomics and the Technical University of Berlin.



inter 3 GmbH Institut für Ressourcemanagement

Helke Wendt-Schwarzburg

Wissenschaftskommunikation & Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

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10585 Berlin



+49 30-34 34 74 46


+49 30-34 34 74 50



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