Identifying key factors influencing the future of hydropolitical relations in the Kura-Aras catchment

Document Type : Extracted from the dissertation


Department of Political Geography, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Khwarazmi University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Extended Abstract
The world's freshwater resources, including waterways, aquifers, lakes, and rivers, play a key role in the economic development and well-being of humanity and contribute to the world's biodiversity on a large scale. Many of these resources are shared between two or more countries and are linked by a complex network of environmental, political, economic, and security dependencies. With 286 common international basins, 151 countries comprise more than 2.8 billion people (about 42% of the world's population) in 62 million square kilometers (42% of the total land). They have to work together to exploit common water resources. There have always been differences between upstream and downstream governments in obtaining their rights to non-shipping uses of international joint water resources. Kora-Aras river basin is one of the main basins of the South Caucasus with an area of 110190 square kilometers, 65% of which is located in the South Caucasus countries: 31.5% in the Republic of Azerbaijan, 18.2% in Georgia, 15.7% in Armenia, 19.5% in Iran and 15.1% in Turkey, for the cooperation of two or more nations and countries. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors affecting the future status of hydro-political relations between the countries of the Kura-Aras catchment area and the extent to which it is possible to identify the main drivers and consider alternative futures in the short, short, medium and long term. This study investigates the importance of sensitive conditions in the hydro-political relations of the Kura-Aras catchment countries based on these key drivers. Therefore, in order to answer this question, what are the most important and key factors influencing the future of Kura-Aras hydro-political relations in this article?
The types of applied research and data collection methods are documentary, library method using the opinion of experts, data analysis method using Mick Mac futures research software, and cross-matrix analysis method.
Results and discussion
Based on the Delphi method mentioned, 32 variables in 4 areas as factors affecting the future of explaining the hydro-political relations of the Kora-Aras catchment countries on Iran's environmental security were identified and then analyzed by interaction / structural effects with Mic Mac software to extract the main factors influencing the explanation. The hydro-political relations of the Kura-Aras catchment countries were studied and analyzed. According to the software results, the degree of filling of the matrix is 96.77734%, which shows that the selected factors have a large and scattered effect on each other. In fact, the system has been in a state of instability. Out of a total of 991 measurable relationships in this matrix of 33 relationships, their number was zero, meaning that the factors did not affect or were not affected by each other. For 249 relationships, the number was one, meaning they had little effect on each other; for 466 relationships, the number was 2, which means that they had a relatively strong effective relationship; for 276 relationships, the number 3, which means that the relationships of critical factors have been very high and have been very influential. On the other hand, the matrix based on statistical indicators with 2 times of data rotation has 100% usefulness and optimization, indicating the questionnaire's high validity and answers. Then, for the general analysis of the system environment, and finally, for identifying the drivers, the vital effective factors, the impact plan, and the variability of the variables were examined, as well as the ranking and displacement of the variables. Among the 32 factors studied in the study, 15 main factors were selected as critical factors to explain the hydro-political relations between the countries of Kora-Aras catchments on Iran's environmental security, which have a high impact and the least impact that these factors are shown in the table. Eventually, Mic Mac 11 software provided the main and key drivers for compiling and narrating the explanation of hydro-political relations between the countries of the Kura-Aras catchments, which included.
Water has always played an important role in the world system's geopolitics and countries' foreign policy as a key element in human life. The crisis caused by water scarcity and the lack of sustainable management of water resources, joint watersheds between countries, and political, economic, social, and environmental interdependence on water resources has given a special place to this vital substance in the relations of human communities. Based on Hafeznia's definition, water hydro-politics or geopolitics studies the role of water in the relations and conflicts of human communities and nations and governments, whether within or between countries or transnational, regional, global, and international dimensions. The common water resources in all five coastal countries of the Kora-Aras Basin are associated with shortcomings. Northwest of Iran is one of the most prosperous agricultural regions whose livestock and agricultural products seriously ensure food security. Therefore, the occurrence of any event that leads to the reduction of water resources, especially in the field of agriculture and environmental security, in general, in addition to regional and national security, threatens the events of the last decade and a half, such as climate change and increasing water needs. Intensification of tensions in hydro-political relations has led to the intensification of the Kura-Aras border rivers, which will be intensified according to the available data in the future if the scientific methods as well as solving legal problems using active diplomacy in foreign relations. It should not be done properly, and the water upstream in Turkey and Armenia should be used more than this. In the future, the northwestern provinces of Iran (West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardabil) and the provinces of Gilan, and especially the Caspian Sea, will be in severe hydro-politics straits. This issue directly impacts the security of these provinces, and as a cloud problem, national and regional problems will appear.
Ministry of energy and Iran national science foundation.
Authors’ Contribution
Authors contributed equally to the conceptualization and writing of the article. All of the authors approved thecontent of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work declaration of competing interest none.
Conflict of Interest
Authors declared no conflict of interest.
 We are grateful to all the scientific consultants of this paper.


Main Subjects

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