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Special Issue "Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Josue Medellin-Azuara

Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California, Davis
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 530 754 9354
Interests: hydro-economic models; water management; consumptive use; economic analysis; policy analysis
Guest Editor
Prof. Guilherme F. Marqes

Instituto de Pesquisas Hidraulicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Website | E-Mail
Phone: + 55 (31) 33196812
Interests: hydropower; urban water use; hydro-economic models; water management
Guest Editor
Prof. Amaury Tilmant

Civil and Water Engineering, Laval University, Quebec
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 (418) 656-2131
Interests: agricultural production; dynamic programming; hydro-economic models; water management; consumptive use; economic analysis; policy analysis
Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Manuel Pulido-Velazquez

Research Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (IIAMA), Universitat Politècnica de València
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34 96 387 9616
Interests: hydro-economic modelling; water management; conjunctive use; water and environmental economics; policy analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As a scarce resource, water often has economic value connected to its use. This value is employed in various use decisions, including irrigation, production proceses, sanitation, hydropower, recreation, and ecosystem services. However, water economic value often plays a decimated role in water management, even when water is reclaimed through costly storage and conveyance infrastructure, and shared among competing users. The common approach to water as an insdisputable requirement, rather than a variable and uncertain economic resource, fails to properly signal its scarcity to society, leading to inefficient use, unnecesarily large infrastructure, and lost development opportunities. Hydro-economic models provide a framework to respresent economic values of water under various uses, infrastructure, and hydrologic and environmental features within regions in a consistent manner This Special Issue provides an overview of economic water valuation and hydroeconomic models. Concepts are reinforced with case studies involving management, modeling, and analysis involving the economic value of water, and its application in improving the economic efficiency of water systems. Prospects for hydro-economic models in managing water resources in the future are discussed.

Assoc. Prof. Josue Medellin-Azuara
Prof. Guilherme F. Marqes
Prof. Amaury Tilmant
Assoc. Prof. Manuel Pulido-Velazquez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Economic value of the water

  • Economic instruments for water management

  • Marginal benefits of water use

  • Water tarifs

  • Water scarcity

  • Scarcity costs

  • Water resources planning and management

  • Water allocation and decision making

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Simulating Water Allocation and Cropping Decisions in Yemen’s Abyan Delta Spate Irrigation System
Water 2018, 10(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020121
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1951 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Agriculture employs more Yemenis than any other sector and spate irrigation is the largest source of irrigation water. Spate irrigation however is growing increasingly difficult to sustain in many areas due to water scarcity and unclear sharing of water amongst users. In some
[...] Read more.
Agriculture employs more Yemenis than any other sector and spate irrigation is the largest source of irrigation water. Spate irrigation however is growing increasingly difficult to sustain in many areas due to water scarcity and unclear sharing of water amongst users. In some areas of Yemen, there are no institutionalised water allocation rules which can lead to water related disputes. Here, we propose a proof-of-concept model to evaluate the impacts of different water allocation patterns to assist in devising allocation rules. The integrated model links simple wadi flow, diversion, and soil moisture-yield simulators to a crop decision model to evaluate impacts of different water allocation rules and their possible implications on local agriculture using preliminary literature data. The crop choice model is an agricultural production model of irrigation command areas where the timing, irrigated area and crop mix is decided each month based on current conditions and expected allocations. The model is applied to Yemen’s Abyan Delta, which has the potential to be the most agriculturally productive region in the country. The water allocation scenarios analysed include upstream priority, downstream priority, equal priority (equal sharing of water shortages), and a user-defined mixed priority that gives precedence to different locations based on the season. Once water is distributed according to one of these allocation patterns, the model determines the profit-maximising plant date and crop selection for 18 irrigated command areas. This aims to estimate the impacts different water allocation strategies could have on livelihoods. Initial results show an equal priority allocation is the most equitable and efficient, with 8% more net benefits than an upstream scenario, 10% more net benefits than a downstream scenario, and 25% more net benefits than a mixed priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Planned paper I

Agricultural Irrigation Reclaimed Wastewater Allocation Optimization Model

Ahmed A. Aljanabi1, Larry W. Mays2 and Peter Fox3

School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

1 Email: Ahmed.A.Ahmed@asu.edu

2 Email: Mays@asu.edu

3 Email: Peter.Fox@asu.edu


Water shortage in Iraq, due to climate change, pollution, civil conflicts, political instability, and the high rate of population’s increase, forms a significant recent concern and future challenge. Due to the importance of agriculture in Iraq and its domination on water demand, which forms more than 75 percent of total demand, a sustainable agricultural water allocation scheme is necessary to handle some of the current water issues and to find practical and applicable water conservation measures that helps in the reduction or avoidance the influence of potential droughts and water shortages. Quantitatively and qualitatively problems in addition to weakness of management are the most critical issues related to Iraq’s water resources, which adversely affect the agricultural sector especially downstream Baghdad. Since water shortage crises should be evaluated precisely and handled with caution to satisfy different water demand on various sectors, it is a common practice for arid and semiarid regions, such as in Iraq, to use reclaimed wastewater for agricultural irrigation.

An agricultural irrigation reclaimed wastewater allocation optimization model was developed to optimally allocate crops and reclaimed wastewater (RW) to cultivated farmlands in order to maximize the net benefit. The optimization model is formulated using 0/1 mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) solved by the branch-and-reduce optimization navigator (BARON) optimizer in the general algebraic mathematical solver (GAMS). The model maximizes the net farm income to determine the cultivated crop assigned to each farmland using three types of reclaimed wastewater (RW); RW type A (tertiary treated wastewater); RW type B (secondary treated wastewater); and RW type C (primary treated wastewater). Not all the cultivated crops which are irrigated using RW type A obtain RW type B or C. All the cultivated crops using RW type B obtain RW type A, but not all obtain RW type C. The cultivated crops irrigated using RW type C accept either RW type A or RW type B.

The proportional sharing rule (PSR) of RW allocation is adopted which allows each farm to obtain its water share equal to the ratio of its observed area to the total observed area of farms. The sensitivity of using different RW availabilities and irrigation efficiencies was tested. Experience using the model to compute net benefit indicates that the model has selected the most economic crops for cultivation depending on the selected type of RW.

Constraints in the optimization model include: (1) Reclaimed wastewater availability constraints, which are the total consumed RW by type constraint, and the consumed RW by type and farm constraint; (2) Irrigated farmlands constraints, which are the irrigated area by farm constraint, total irrigated farmlands per RW type constraint, and maximum allowed area to be cultivated by crop and RW type constraint. Furthermore, the binary variable constraint, which allows only one crop to be cultivated at each farm using a certain RW type, is considered. Other constraints specify the minimum allowed benefit per farm and RW type.

The model has been applied to farms of 7000 hectares located, in the Alrustumia district to the south east of Baghdad, Iraq. Those farmlands are tail river irrigated from Deyala River, which has experienced severe shortages in last ten years by the Jurf-Alrustumia irrigation canal. The main irrigation canal for those farmlands are hundreds of meters away from Alrustumia wastewater treatment plant which disposes about 6.0×105 (m3/day) secondary treated wastewater to the Deyala River before its confluences with Tigris River.

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