Title: Sustainability and determining the optimal population based on water resources in Mashhad, Iran

Authors: Mohammad Rahim Rahnama; Lia Shaddel

Addresses: Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Azadi Square, Mashhad, Iran ' Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Azadi Square, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract: This study first evaluates Mashhad's water resource sustainability, employing sustainable urban development models proposed by Haughton. Second, it determines the optimal number of population in 2016, both with and without the Dousti and Ardak dams. Results show that the Mashhad plain possesses only 2% of the total province groundwater although 65.97% of the urban provincial population live there. Furthermore, 92.7% of surface water comes from the Dousti dam, which is located 220 km from Mashhad, and only 30% of domestic sewage is recycled. Using Haughton's theory of urban metabolism, Mashhad is thus not a sustainable city, as, including the Dousti and Ardak as water sources (dependence out of hinterland), it has a surplus population of 550,459 and excluding them, a surplus of 1,192,660 people.

Keywords: Ardak dam; Dousti dam; Haughton's theory; independent city model; Iran; Mashhad; optimal population; re-designing cities model; sustainability; water resources.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2018.096867

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2018 Vol.17 No.4, pp.390 - 403

Accepted: 08 Jan 2018
Published online: 12 Dec 2018 *

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