Water Resources Management

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 2243–2257 | Cite as

Spatial Optimization Models for Water Supply Allocation

  • Alan T. Murray
  • Patricia Gober
  • Luc Anselin
  • Sergio J. Rey
  • David Sampson
  • Paul D. Padegimas
  • Yin Liu


Climate change is likely to result in increased aridity, lower runoff, and declining water supplies for the cities of the Southwestern United States, including Phoenix. The situation in Phoenix is particularly complicated by the large number of water providers, each with its own supply portfolio, demand conditions, and conservation strategies. This paper details spatial optimization models to support water supply allocation between service provider districts, where some districts experience deficits and others experience surpluses in certain years. The approach seeks to reconcile and integrate projections derived from a complex simulation model taking into account current and future climate conditions. The formulated and applied models are designed to help better understand the expected increasingly complex interactions of providers under conditions of climate change. Preliminary results show cooperative agreements would reduce spot shortages that would occur even without climate change. In addition, they would substantially reduce deficits if climate change were to moderately reduce river flows in Phoenix’s major source regions, but have little effect under the most pessimistic scenarios because there are few surpluses available for re-allocation.


Spatial optimization Multi-agency planning and coordination Climate change 



This article is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. SES-0345945, Decision Center for a Desert City. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan T. Murray
    • 1
  • Patricia Gober
    • 2
    • 3
  • Luc Anselin
    • 1
  • Sergio J. Rey
    • 1
  • David Sampson
    • 3
  • Paul D. Padegimas
    • 1
  • Yin Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban PlanningArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.School of Geographical Sciences and Urban PlanningArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Decision Center for a Desert CityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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