Comprehensive evaluation of groundwater resources based on DPSIR conceptual framework

  • M. Borji
  • A. Moghaddam Nia
  • A. Malekian
  • A. Salajegheh
  • Sh. Khalighi
Original Paper


In order to manage integrated groundwater resources in the plains with high dependence on the ground water resources, it seems to be essential to take into account the economic, social, and environmental dimensions in management and planning of water resources, based on DPSIR (driving forces-pressures-states-impacts-responses) framework. Kuhdasht plain located in Iran is one of such settlements in which human activities have led to irreversible destruction of groundwater resources during the last two decades. A case study is performed to properly investigate the causes of groundwater resources degradation in Kuhdasht plain and optimize measures for the sustainable groundwater resources management by the DPSIR approach. The results showed that the key driving forces influencing groundwater resources have been the population growth, the increased cultivated surface area, the cropping pattern change, the changes in industrial water consumption pattern and per capita water consumption, the natural resources destruction, and climate variability. The main pressures on groundwater resources of the study region have been extensive groundwater overdraft, decreased aquifer recharge caused by reduced precipitation, vegetation cover destruction, and land use change. Based on the results, the aquifer exhibits a negative balance for 1989–2008 period as well as a 7-m decline in the aquifer’s water table, and land subsidence of 0.012–0.31 m. On the other hand, the results indicate that despite the agricultural sector has exerted the highest stress on the Kuhdasht aquifer, this sector has had the lowest economic efficiency with little contribution to employment creation.


DPSIR Groundwater resources Systematic approach Climate change Cropping pattern change Kuhdasht plain of Iran 


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Borji
    • 1
  • A. Moghaddam Nia
    • 1
  • A. Malekian
    • 2
  • A. Salajegheh
    • 2
  • Sh. Khalighi
    • 2
  1. 1.Watershed Sciences and EngineeringUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.Faculty of Natural ResourcesUniversity of TehranKarajIran

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