Developing a Sustainability Assessment Framework for Integrated Management of Water Resources Systems using Distributed Zoning and System Dynamics Approaches

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The management of large-scale water resources systems requires including of different stakeholders and users from municipal, agricultural, industrial and environmental sectors. This has baffled the process of decision making for integrated water resource systems. In such systems, the interactions between various stakeholders must be carefully taken into account with the goal of aggregating interests around the sustainability concept. In this study, first, the integrated water resources systems of Big Karun Watershed, Iran, have been modeled using the system dynamics approach. The system dynamics model represents the interactions between different components of the system, including water transfer projects, dams, urban, industry, agriculture and fish farming, and environmental demands. Vensim software has been used for the system dynamics modeling. Vensim simulates the dynamics behavior of the sub-systems and overall performance of the system by comparing the current operation policies with the future management scenarios. A wide range of performance indices, such as quantitative and qualitative water stress, income, cost, and productivity, have been used here to represent different aspects of sustainability goals. Finally, the performance of the systems has been evaluated by developing a sustainability index using distributed zoning model in order to identify proper management policies for this watershed. The results indicate that downstream users demand cannot be fully met by solely considering inter-basin water transfer and agricultural development projects. The sustainable and integrated management of the whole system ties into enhancement in both infrastructure systems and the operation of the whole system. It is expected that the sustainability of the basin improves if a water market schema exists and the gained money would be used to enhance the efficiency of existing irrigation networks.

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APA Citation

Abdi-Dehkordi, M., Bozorg-Haddad, O., Salavitabar, A., & Goharian, E. (2021). Developing a sustainability assessment framework for integrated management of water resources systems using distributed zoning and system dynamics approaches. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 23(11), 16246–16282.


© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2021