Water is a primary factor in sustainable development; it may also be considered the most important component of economic and political power in contemporary world. Countries like Iran, which are located in arid and semi-arid regions of the world, since they are in permanent water crisis condition, must react by concentrating on research, pure studies and striving as far as possible to utilize water as optimally and manage water consumption. Lack of precipitation, inadequate infrastructure for collection, storage and recycling of water and above all, lack of public awareness regarding such issues as standard consumption patterns, force all countries like Iran to adopt strategic management policies and techniques toward such issues as water resources, maintaining and upgrading water quality, recharging of water resources and also other concepts, such as, “defined consumption”.
Although Tehran province enjoys having various surface and underground water resources, and also so-called scattered and undirected water resources such as Qanats, springs, treated waste water, etc., adding all these resources together, it still cannot quench its thirst. Average annual temperature and rainfall, and also explosive rate of population migration to the province, are main reasons of existing and widening gap between supply and demand. It seems the only alternative left is to capitalize and utilize various techniques to reduce consumption, otherwise Tehran will face a continuous and uninterrupted water crisis. Proposed strategic management viewpoint should also cover other areas such as supply, transfer, treatment, storage and also distribution and consumption. For each of above topics, special operational management should be considered and executed. Although, there were many reasons behind the recent water crisis, one of the main reasons was uncoordination among various management divisions which ended up in rationing. Tehran's water crisis was handled successfully by utilizing various strategic management techniques, but in order to prevent such crisis repeating itself, we must adopt long-term strategic policies and demand management, also various techniques of efficient use of water.