On June 21st 2011, Ilyas Masih successfully presented and defended his PhD thesis and was awarded with a Doctoral degree at UNESCO-IHE in Delft, the Netherlands. Masih is lecturer in Water Resources Planning at the Dutch based water education institute. His PhD research focused on 'Understanding hydrological variability for improved water management in the semi-arid Karkheh basin in Iran’

The study provides a hydrology based assessment of (surface) water resources and its continuum of variability and change at different spatiotemporal scales in the semiarid Karkheh Basin, Iran, where water is scarce, competition among users is high and massive water resources development is under way.

Allocation planning not sustainable
The study reveals that the ongoing allocation planning is not sustainable and essentially requires reformulation, with consideration of spatiotemporal variability and observed trends in the streamflows regarding flood intensification and decline in low flows.

Better modeling the basin
The development of innovative methods for quantification of the hydrological fluxes (i.e., regionalization of model parameters based on similarity of the flow duration curve and the use of areal precipitation input in the hydrological modeling) helped better understanding and modeling the basin hydrology.

Upgrading to irrigated agriculture
The investigation of scenarios for upgrading rain-fed areas to irrigated agriculture, using SWAT, recommends the promotion of in-situ soil and water conservation techniques.

Reduction downstream flows
Conversion of rain-fed areas to irrigation causes significant reduction in the downstream flows, and requires additional considerations such as less development in the upper catchments, practicing supplementary irrigation and developing water storage.

The knowledge generated is instructive for hydrological assessment and its use in water resources planning and management in the river basin context.

More information on the UNESCO-IHE's PhD programme
If you are interested in pursuing a PhD degree at UNESCO-IHE, click here for more information.
If you would like to know about the research themes, and the current research subjects at the institute, click here .

More information on UNESCO-IHE dissertations repository.

This news item was originally published on the website Unesco-IHE.

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