(Long-term Development Strategies for Iran's water resources management company approved in the cabinet council meeting dated Oct. 19, 2003)
1. National water management must be based on supply and demand management, integrated consideration of water cycle, principles of sustainable development and land use planning in national and joint basins, and to realize integrated water resources management, various economic, social, infrastructural and service sectors must be coordinated with water sector.
2. The utilization of Iran's water resources in each basin must be planned in such a way that the volume of the utilized underground water does not exceed the present utilized volume considering their tolerance. Therefore, structural and nonstructural actions must be taken to meet people's new demands to the extent that the utilized share of surface water resources increases from the present 46% to 55% within the coming 20 years and meets the minimum need of natural environment.
3. The water consumption pattern in Iran must be reformed in such a way that the agricultural water consumption share will be reduced from the present 92% to 87% by the coming 20 years while doubling water consumption efficiency of 1 m3 by enhancing irrigation efficiency and allocating to more economically valuable crops. New water allocation priorities will be drinking and hygiene, industry and service, and gardening and agriculture respectively.
4. Iran water management must determine and notify the economic value of water, including its inherent value in every basin proportionate to its natural and climatic conditions having access to water, the value of investment in supplying, transferring, distributing and recycling water to be consumed in various sectors.
5. The management of the activities of various water consumers must be applied in such a way that, firstly to control water pollution resulting from the consumers activities and develop water quality gradually. Water consumers have to observe the national standards of water resources quality conservation and sewage disposal system to achieve this goal.
6. The price of water for various consumption must be fixed to meet peoples' essential needs for drinking and hygiene (within the framework of consumption pattern approved for urban an rural consumption) taking priority, and the prices of water consumption exceeding the approved volume and other consumptions, considering financial resources and giving variety to these resources, firstly cover the costs of operation and maintenance and then recover investment costs.
7. Considering the role of water in national development and its economic value in the region's markets, exchanging water with neighboring countries should be considered based on country's integrated water scheme and taking into account the national interests and technical, economic, environmental and social feasibility of such action.
8. Since the water resources are limited from the qualitative, quantitative, timely and special points of view, the development structural projects and land use planning must be taken into consideration due to the cost and inherent value of water, and agriculture, mines and industries, urban and rural development sectors and other sector in each basin must be provided and implemented after taking into account the basin tolerance.
9. The projects of transferring water from a basin to another must be considered from the viewpoint of sustainable development while observing interested parties' rights and their technical, economic, social feasibilities and explanation and national meeting various needs.
10. The structure of Iran water management must be improved considering decentralization while implementing and operating projects, increasing people's and local organizations' participation role and integrated consideration in water cycle, regarding basins as natural units of water management and provincial units for operation and water users' participation observing the laws and regulations.
11. In provincial development plans, basins must be considered as effective territories in the economic and social development of the province.
12. All the plans for drought and flood management must be prepared and executed with the cooperation of all related organizations on the basis of risk management.
13. Various methods of water consumption management and control of water losses in water transfer lines and urban and rural water distribution networks must be adopted as the first priority in urban and rural water supply management.
14. Public awareness programs for conserving water quantity and quality as well as optimized consumption of water must be compiled and executed.
15. Equipping and completing water quality and quantity gauging networks and information and communication systems must be considered.
16. The sustainable preservation, revival and operation of the historical hydraulic structures must be considered in providing and compiling water plans of the country.
17. High Water Council will coordinate the policies in water supply, distribution and consumption in accordance with article 10 for the establishment of the Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture approved in 2000.