Advertisement

Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 95–121 | Cite as

An agent-based model of groundwater over-exploitation in the Upper Guadiana, Spain

  • Georg HoltzEmail author
  • Claudia Pahl-Wostl
Original Article

Abstract

Irrigated agriculture is a main user of groundwater. Achieving a sustainable use of groundwater will often require agricultural land-use changes such as shifting to entirely different kinds of crops and/or technologies. Enhanced understanding of land-use change is hence required for developing policies for a sustainable water future. We use an agent-based model to investigate the history of irrigated agriculture in the Upper Guadiana Basin, Spain, in order to learn about the influence of farmers’ characteristics on land-use change and associated groundwater over-use. A shift from vineyards and cereals to horticultural crops would provide a possibility for higher income with less water use. Such a shift cannot be observed historically. The model results suggest that risk aversion and path dependency are insufficient to explain this observation, and the organisational set-up of farms limiting the maximum labour force needs to be considered as additional explanatory factor. Furthermore, it is shown that different types of farms existing in the UGB can be expected to exhibit distinct responses to drivers of land-use change such as agricultural policies. It is concluded that a sound understanding of the social system making use of a resource is required to solve problems of resource over-use. This article demonstrates that agent-based models can be useful tools to enhance such an understanding even in situations of scarce and uncertain data that are often encountered when dealing with resource-use problems.

Keywords

Agent-based model Land-use change Agriculture Groundwater Upper Guadiana Mancha Occidental aquifer 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Pedro Martínez-Santos, Gema Carmona, Marcela Brugnach, Geeske Scholz as well as four anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and constructive critique on previous versions of this article. We further thank Maite Aldaya, Pedro Zorilla and Celsa Peiteado for help in search for data.

Supplementary material

10113_2011_238_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (236 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 236 kb)

References

  1. Acreman M (2000) Grapes project: technical report. Groundwater and river resources programme on a european scale (grapes). Report to the european union env4-ct95-0186. Institute of Hydrology, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Aldaya MM, Llamas R (2008) Water footprint analysis (hydrologic and economic) of the Guadiana river basin within the NeWater project. Report of the NeWater project—New Approaches to Adaptive Water Management under Uncertainty. http://www.newater.info. Last accessed 12th May 2011
  3. Arthur BW (1994) Increasing returns and path dependence in the economy. The University of Michigan Press, MichiganGoogle Scholar
  4. Baldock D, Caraveli H, et al (2000) The environmental impacts of irrigation in the European Union. Environment Directorate of the European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/agriculture/pdf/irrigation.pdf. Accessed 16 June 2011
  5. Balmann A, Odening M, Weikard H-P, Brandes W (1996) Path-dependence without increasing returns to scale and network externalities. J Econ Behav Organ 29:159–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Balmann A, Dautzenberg K, Happe K, Kellermann K (2006) On the dynamics of structural change in agriculture—internal frictions, policy threats and vertical integration. Outlook Agricult 35(2):115–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bass FM (1969) A new product growth for model consumer durables. Manage Sci 15(5):215–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berger T (2001) Agent-based spatial models applied to agriculture: a simulation tool for technology diffusion, resource use changes and policy analysis. Agricultural Economics 25(2–3):245–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berger T, Birner R, Díaz J, McCarthy N, Wittmer H (2007) Capturing the complexity of water uses and water users within a multi-agent framework. Water Resour Manage 21:129–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Beven K (2002) Towards a coherent philosophy for modelling the environment. In: Royal society of London proceedings series A 458Google Scholar
  11. Blanco I, Varela-Ortega C, Flichman G (2007) Cost-effectiveness of water policy options for sustainable groundwater management: a case study in Spain. Paper presented at the international conference on adaptive & integrated water management. coping with complexity and uncertainty, Basel, Switzerland, 12–15 NovemberGoogle Scholar
  12. Bromley J, Cruces J, Acreman M, Martínez L, Llamas R (2001) Problems of sustainable groundwater management in an area of over-exploitation: the Upper Guadiana catchment, central Spain. Water Resour Dev 17(3):379–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Confederación Hidrográfica del Guadiana (2006) Caracterización socio-económica des uso agrícola y ganadeorGoogle Scholar
  14. Confederación Hidrográfica del Guadiana (2008) Plan especial del alto guadiana. http://www.chguadiana.es/. Last accessed 12th May 2011
  15. Council of the European Union (1999) Council Regulation (EC) No 1259/1999Google Scholar
  16. Diamond JM (2002) Life with the artificial Anasazi. Nature 419:567–569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Edwards-Jones G (2006) Modelling farmer decision-making: concepts, progress and challenges. Animal Sci 82:783–790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Epstein JM, Axtell R (1996) Growing artificial societies: social science from the bottom up. Complex adaptive systems. Brookings Institution Press, MIT Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  19. European Commission (1997) Situation and outlook—cereals, oilseeds and protein crops. Directorate General for Agriculture (DG VI)Google Scholar
  20. Eurostat (2011) Eurostat database. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. Accessed 12 May 2011
  21. FADN (2011) FADN public database. http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rica/database/database_en.cfm. Accessed 16 June 2011
  22. Ferber J (1999) Multi-agent systems. Introduction to distributed artificial intelligence. Addison Wesley, BostonGoogle Scholar
  23. Fielding KS, Terry DJ, Masser BM, Bordia P, Hogg MA (2005) Explaining landholders’ decisions about riparian zone management: the role of behavioural, normative and control beliefs. J Environ Manage 77:12–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. García-Vila M, Lorite IJ, Soriano MA, Fereres E (2008) Management trends and responses to water scarcity in an irrigation scheme of southern Spain. Agric Water Manage 95:458–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Garforth C, Rehman T (2005) Research to understand and model the behaviour and motivations of farmers in responding to policy changes (England)—review of literature on measuring farmers’ values, goals and objectives. Research project EPES 0405/17 commissioned by Defra, Project Report No. 2, http://archive.defra.gov.uk/evidence/economics/foodfarm/reports/documents/Behaviour.pdf. Last accessed 12th May 2011
  26. Gilbert NG, Troitzsch K (1999) Simulation for the social scientist. Open University Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  27. Gurung TR, Bousquet F, Trébuil G (2006) Companion modeling, conflict resolution, and institution building: sharing irrigation water in the lingmuteychu watershed, Bhutan. Ecol Soc 11(2)Google Scholar
  28. Happe K, Kellermann K, Balmann A (2006) Agent-based analysis of agricultural policies: an illustration of the agricultural policy simulator AgriPolis, its adaptation and behavior. Ecol Soc 11(2)Google Scholar
  29. Heckbert S, Baynes T, Reeson A (2010) Agent-based modeling in ecological economics. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1185:39–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hernández-Mora N, Martinez-Cortina L, Llamas MR, Custodio E (2007) Groundwater in the Southern Member States of the European Union: an assessment of current knowledge and future prospects. Country report for Spain. European Academies Science Advisory Council. http://www.easac.eu/fileadmin/PDF_s/reports_statements/Spain_Groundwater_country_report.pdf. Last accessed 12th May 2011
  31. Hill B (1993) The ‘myth’ of the family farm: defining the family farm and assessing its importance in the European community. J Rural Stud 9(4):359–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Holland JH (1996) Hidden order. How adaptation builds complexity. Helix Books, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  33. Janssen MA, Ostrom E (2006) Empirically based, agent-based models. Ecol Soc 11(2)Google Scholar
  34. Janssen S, van Ittersum MK (2007) Assessing farm innovation and responses to policies: a review of bio-economic farm models. Agric Syst 94:622–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Llamas R, Martínez-Santos P (2005) NeWater report: baseline condition report Upper Guadiana BasinGoogle Scholar
  36. Llamas R, Garrido A (2007) Lessons from intensive groundwater use in Spain: economic and social benefits and conflicts. In: Villholth KG, Giordano M (eds) The agricultural groundwater revolution: opportunities and threats to development. CAB International, UKGoogle Scholar
  37. Llamas R, Martínez-Santos P (2005) NeWater report: baseline condition report Upper Guadiana Basin. http://www.newater.info. Last accessed 12th May 2011
  38. Lopez Sanz G (1999) Irrigated agriculture in the Guadiana river high basin (Castilla-la Mancha, Spain): environmental and socioeconomic impacts. Agric Water Manage 40:171–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lopez-Gunn E (2003) Policy change and learning in groundwater policy: a comparative analysis of collective action in la Mancha (Spain). King’s College, LondonGoogle Scholar
  40. Lopez-Gunn E, Hernadez-Mora N (2001) La Gestión colectiva de las aguas subterráneas: análisis comparativo. In: Hernández-Mora N, Llamas R (eds) La economía del agua subterránea y su gestión colectiva, Mundiprensa PubGoogle Scholar
  41. Maestu J (2005) The special plan of the Upper Guadiana Basin. Moving from traditional towards Participatory decision making? A case study report for HarmoniCop project. http://www.harmonicop.info. Last accessed 12th May 2011
  42. Mahajan V, Muller E, Bass FM (1990) New product diffusion models in marketing: a review and directions for research. J Market 54:1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. MAPA (2008) Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio rural y Marino "Plan National de regadíos - Horizonte 2008". http://www.marm.es/es/agua/temas/gestion-sostenible-de-regadios/plan-nacional-de-regadios/texto-completo/default.aspx. Accessed 16th June 2011
  44. Martínez-Santos P (2007) Hacia la gestión adaptable del acuífero de la Mancha Occidental, PhD Thesis, Universidad Complutense de MadridGoogle Scholar
  45. Martínez-Santos P, de Stefano L, Llamas R, Martínez-Alfaro P (2008a) Wetland restoration in the Mancha Occidental aquifer, Spain: a critical perspective on water, agricultural and environmental policies. Restor Ecol 16(3):511–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Martínez-Santos P, Llamas R, Martínez-Alfaro PE (2008b) Vulnerability assessment of groundwater resources: a modelling-based approach to the Mancha Occidental aquifer, Spain. Environ Model Softw 23(9):1145–1162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Matthews R, Gilbert N, Roach A, Polhill G, Gotts N (2007) Agent-based land-use models: a review of applications. Landscape Ecol 22:1447–1459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. MMA (2000) Libro blanco del agua en Espana. Ministerio de medio ambiente. Dirección General de Obras Hidráulicas y Calidad de las Aguas, Madrid. http://hercules.cedex.es/Informes/Planificacion/2000-Libro_Blanco_del_Agua_en_Espana/Indice.pdf. Last accessed 12th May 2011
  49. Napton DE, Auch RF, Headley R, Taylor JL (2010) Land changes and their driving forces in the Southeastern United States. Reg Environ Change 10:37–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Parker DC, Manson SM, Janssen MA, Hoffmann MJ, Deadman P (2003) Multi-agent systems for the simulation of land-use and land-cover change: a review. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 92(2):314–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Piniés de la Cuesta M (2006) Evaluación de programas agroambientales en la mancha occidental mediante un modelo de programación matemática. Aerotecnia/E.T.S.I. Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, AgrónomosGoogle Scholar
  52. Rogers EM (1995) Diffusion of innovations, 4th edn. The Free Press, NYGoogle Scholar
  53. Rosell J, Viladomiu L (1997) El Programa des Compensación de Rentas pro reducción des regadíos en Mancha Occidental y Campo de Montiel. Economía Agraria 179:331–350Google Scholar
  54. Ross A, Martinez-Santos P (2010) The challenge of groundwater governance: case studies from Spain and Australia. Reg Environ Change 10(4):299–310. doi: 10.1007/s10113-009-0086-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sterman JD (2000) Business dynamics. Systems thinking and modeling for a complex world. Irwin McGraw-Hill, NYGoogle Scholar
  56. Tàbara D, Ilhan A (2008) Culture as trigger for sustainability transition in the water domain: the case of the Spanish water policy and the Ebro river basin. Reg Environ Change 8:59–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Valente TW (1995) Network models of the diffusion of innovations. Hampton Press, CresskillGoogle Scholar
  58. Varela-Ortega C (2007a) Policy-driven determinants of irrigation development and environmental sustainability: a case study in Spain. In: Berkoff J, Molle F (eds) Irrigation water pricing: the gap between theory and practice. CAB International, UKGoogle Scholar
  59. Varela-Ortega C (2007) Policy-driven Determinants of irrigation development and environmental sustainability: a case study in Spain. In: Molle F, Berkoff J (eds) Irrigation water pricing: the gap between theory and practice, CAB InternationalGoogle Scholar
  60. Varela-Ortega C, Simó A, Blanco I (2006) The effects of alternative policy scenarios on multifunctionality: a case study in Spain. CEPS ENARPRI Working Papers No. 15. http://aei.pitt.edu/6728/. Last accessed 12th May 2011
  61. Weiss G (ed) (1999) A modern approach to distributed artificial intelligence. The MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  62. World Water Assessment Programme (2009) The united nations world water development 3: Report water in a changing world. UNESCO, Paris. http://www.unesco.org/water/wwap/wwdr/wwdr3. Last accessed 12th May 2011
  63. WWF (2006) Illegal water use in Spain—causes, effects and solutions. WWF/Adena, Madrid. http://www.sswm.info/sites/default/files/reference_attachments/WWF%202006%20illegal%20water%20use%20in%20spain.pdf. Last accessed 12th May 2011

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Systems ResearchOsnabrueckGermany

Personalised recommendations