عنوان مقاله [English]
The Water User Cooperative is a joint organization for optimal management and exploitation of water, which in recent years has been the focus of attention among Iranian authorities. Therefore, the regional water companies have established and developed a significant number of Water User Cooperatives (WUCs) throughout Iran during recent years. Among them are WUCs at the downstream of Doosti Dam in Serakhs of Razavi Khorassan province. The basic issue that has gained little attention is the assessment of these cooperatives from different operational perspectives. Thus the present research, which has been done with an analytical–comparative method, aims to practically evaluate the economic and social operations of Water Users Cooperatives in downstream of Doosti Dam in Serakhs. The results, confirmed by statistical analysis, indicated that economically, the WUCs have increased the agricultural products through the optimal consumption of the water resources of Doosti dam and have created competition in production, and increased the farmers’ income. In the social dimension, the operation of WUCs has caused an increase in the social security, and a reduction in the local conflicts and quarrels, as well as legal cases in courts and police stations. This has also heightened the spirit for group work among the water users. Despite these successful results, WUCs have not been successful in training and promoting the cooperative culture among their members or utilizing the legal potentials to strengthen the social and economic infrastructures of WUCs.