Delft, The Netherlands, 08 May 2015

"We are dealing with a force; we have to modify our water management"

UNESCO-IHE alumnus Mr. Daemi is deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Energy in Iran and visited the Institute last month. Coordinated by Liaison Office Manager Gaetano Casale, exploratory discussions took place on transferring knowledge and technology to the country in the form of a new water resources centre. The country is in need of qualified water managers to addresses challenges of drought, water allocation and pricing.

"I really appreciate being back here after studying Hydraulic Engineering at IHE from 1997 to 1999. It is really nice to see what is happening here, and what is new. I try to follow UNESCO-IHE via the Internet, for me it's really interesting to follow the lecturers and professors who taught me at the time", explains Mr. Daemi.

When Daemi came to the Netherlands to study at UNESCO-IHE, he was a staff member of the important water research centre in Iran. After some time, he became head of the division and after coming back to Iran with an MSc degree he grew to the level of Director General of Water macro- Planning Bureau. Currently, he is the Deputy Minister of planning and economic affairs.

"As the outcome of the meeting between Minister of Energy and Director General of the UNESCO I came to UNESCO-IHE with the purpose to talk to some of the staff about the collaboration to establish a training centre for Ministry of Energy. I would like to bring international knowledge and technology transfer to the country. Although Iran enjoy longstanding history in water management solutions, we think an international water oriented course focusing on water problems in our country can help us manage water better," says Daemi.

Climate change effects

Iran is suffering from climate change effects, mostly in the form of severe droughts. Lakes and wetlands are running dry and people are suffering from shortage of water. Daemi: "water challenges occur for example between the agricultural sector and the industrial sector, as well as in the domestic domain. Challenges between provinces happen too, in the basin they say for example, this water belongs to us.

For water governance, pricing and allocation, it is very important to participate in water management. Our country has a very varied climate; in the north we have a very green landscape with lots of rain. In the middle, 3/4 of the area is desert or has an arid or semi-arid climate. We should, therefore, work on tailor made action plans for each area. Sometimes we have problems with groundwater; and at the same time in other parts of the country we have problems with surface water management".

"I think it is a force, we should modify our water management; it is not an option to choose another way. Therefore, we need educated senior engineers in our country for managing of water and capacity building. In the coming decade we should take on the opportunity to improve our methods for water management by using models for example" concludes Mr. Daemi.

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