عنوان مقاله [English]
The Maku Free Zone has a potential strategic position in the country according to its location on the Iran turkey border crossing and Azerbaijan, and its sustainable development has great importance from various economic, social, and political aspects. However, regional development policies are still focused on growth regardless of resource shortage, especially water resources. It needs further study toward the sustainable development paradigm and focus on limited resources, especially water resources in this region. In a region, sustainable development can be achieved by considering the economic, social, and environmental potential of that region. Individual development is not possible in any of the sectors without taking into account the overall behavior and effects of the subsystems on each other.
Data and methods
The present study is applied research, descriptive and analytical research in terms of purpose, nature, and data collection method. The system dynamics method has been used in the software and wireless environment according to the Library studies and field studies concerning the research topic. The study of the aim was to analyze the development of Maku Free region concerning three economic, social, and environmental subsystems with an emphasis on water resources. In this regard, it uses a systemic approach to analyze the interactions between variables. First, the necessary information and statistical data have been derived from observations and regional specialist interviews. Then, the system of three economic and social sectors and water resources was accepted in the form of cause-and-effect chains (equilibrium and reinforcement) separately using software and their performance with reference diagrams through dynamic knowledge. These subsystems were comprehensively drawn and interconnected in the form of a systemic mechanism governing the development indicators of Maku County. Finally, three policies were formulated from the system mechanism according to the existing potentials in the region and based on limited groundwater resources. With a systematic study, the subsystems related to the three mentioned sections.
Discussion and results
One of the most important limitations of Maku region in terms of sustainable development is the high stress on groundwater resources due to overexploitation of available water resources. Therefore, the present article emphasizes equilibrium rings to control the negative effects of reinforcement rings leading to increased exploitation of groundwater resources by focusing on excessive use of groundwater resources. For this purpose, equilibrium rings were drawn in such a way as to prevent the overexploitation of groundwater resources and modify effective reinforcement rings by reducing dependency on agricultural activities. Since the agricultural sector is the most important part of water consumption in that region, it will be possible to draw these circles only based on alternative livelihood policy and change livelihood from agriculture to more value-added activities with less dependency on water; Therefore, livelihood change should be done in the framework for developing and replacing High water consumption agricultural activities with non-agricultural activities based on region situation and circumstance.
The study of systemic mechanisms governing development showed that three policies based on strengthening aquaculture, investment to develop tourism, and cultivation of medicinal plants by strengthening equilibrium systemic mechanisms, can strengthen the sustainability of the Maku Free Zone. The first policy is based on strengthening the Aquaculture activity, which is currently operating with an area of 40,000 hectares and a production of 80 tons per year. The cultivation area of this region can be increased up to 70,000 hectares due to its high potential for aquaculture despite surface water in the north of the Aras River Valley and the existence of dams such as Danalo and Qighaj. In addition, there are many wetlands in the Maku Free Zone that can be used in aquaculture activities in the future by researching them and making a safe investment in this field. The second policy based on strengthening tourism activity will also lead to the control of the destructive reinforcement loop by increasing the added value of the region and reducing stress on groundwater resources. Cultivation of medicinal plants due to low water consumption and income per acreage compared to orchards is the third proposed systemic policy that can improve the systemic mechanism behavior governing Maku water resources towards optimal water management.