Identifying the main factors driving groundwater stress in a semi-arid region, southern Iran

Mehri Tabarmayeh, Mehdi Zarei, Fernando Jaramillo, Okke Batelaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Groundwater resources are the most reliable freshwater supply in arid regions where many aquifers face dramatic depletion due to natural and anthropogenic causes. The annual average rate of decline of groundwater level is about 1.65 m. This research focuses on an aquifer that suffers from severe groundwater stress, and it aims to identify the main causes of the stress and to understand the effects of climate change and human activity. Monthly data on groundwater level, precipitation, temperature, river discharge, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, and vegetation cover were collected from 2000 to 2020. The results indicate that declining groundwater levels mainly resulted from the expansion of vegetation cover rather than changes in hydro-climatic variables. Finally, this work highlights how significant financial investment in improving irrigation efficiency in the absence of socio-economic plans, education, awareness, and monitoring programmes unproductively resulted in the expansion of agricultural activities rather than preserving groundwater storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-855
Number of pages16
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number6
Early online date20 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • anthropogenic
  • climate change
  • groundwater
  • hydro-climatic variables
  • vegetation cover


Dive into the research topics of 'Identifying the main factors driving groundwater stress in a semi-arid region, southern Iran'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this