Department of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management, Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, 76169-14111 Kerman, Iran
Water security problems are becoming more and more challenging in Iran for several reasons such as population growth, urbanization, land-use change, unsustainable water use and climate change. All the mentioned reasons result in an increase in the human exploitation of water resources and consequently increasing anthropogenic impacts on rivers, flood plains, and fresh groundwater. Therefore, assessment of the human pressures on rivers is particularly important to find areas where water resources are threatened and subjected to rapidly increasing anthropogenic effects. By this integrated approach, a successful Integrated Water Resources Management will be achieved to guide policy makers for best protection, restoration and management. In this regard, Southern Caspian Sea Basin Rivers (including Kura-South Caspian and Caspian Highland ecoregions) were studied in terms of human pressure types. Human pressures were analyzed at different spatial scales, and finally seven main pressure types (i.e. Land use, Hydrology, Morphology, Connectivity, Water quality, Biology) were defined in which the abundance and distributions of each pressure type was different. According to this study, most areas were impacted by land use pressure type followed by water quality. Moreover, most areas were threatened by multiple pressures.