Afghanistan contributes water supplies to Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. However, with the exception of the Helmand Basin, Afghanistan has negotiated transboundary water sharing agreements with no downstream country. This paper describes a constrained optimization framework to minimize economic costs within each of nine Afghan transboundary basins of adapting to potential water sharing agreements. Model results show impacts of water agreements on farm income and food security for each Afghan basin. Our results show that unrestricted trading reduces the economic costs of adapting to water sharing treaties by two to 6 % compared to the conventional water sharing system. A higher scale of reservoir storage capacity as well as market trading of water among regions moderates costs of water shortages, both with and without water agreements in place.
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The authors gratefully acknowledge support by the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station and US Geological Survey International Division. Neither organization is responsible for errors in this document.
The appendix summarizes relevant mathematical documentation of the multi-basin hydro-economic model design to inform water policy decisions in Afghanistan. It outlines the mathematical framework of the optimization model built using General Algebraic Modeling Systems to include sets, parameters, variables, equations and the objective function specification. The complete model show hydrological, economic and institutional constraints. The code for the hydro-economic model and spreadsheet results are available at the New Mexico State University web page at https://water-research.nmsu.edu/
Sets.Sets characterize the foundation of the multi-basin framework. Each set constitute elements as described below. In our model, sets and corresponding elements are defined for all studied transboundary river basins in Afghanistan.
|sets||set name||description||set elements|
|k||crop||Crop selection is an important choice variable for farm income, food security, and policy assessment that influences both.||/ Alfalfa, Cotton, Melon, Potato, Pulses, Rice, Tomato, Wheat/|
|t||Year||Year reflect a 20-year horizon||/year1 * year 20/|
|i||Region by basin||Each basin divided into 3 regions||/upper, middle, lower/|
|j||Water right priority||Priority among regions inside each basin||/j1, j2, j3/|
|r||Water allocation rule||Water right systems for sharing water shortages when they occur||/Upstream priority, free market/|
|s||Storage reservoir capacity scale||Scale at which new reservoirs could be built. None reflects base condition and has no storage.||/none, small, medium, large/|
|b||River Basin||Lists of all river basins studied in the country||/Balkh, Patika, Helmand, Farah, Kabul, Kokcha Kunduz, Murghab, Upper_Harirud|
|y||Treaty||Treaty agreement on transboundary river basins.||/Without treaty, With treaty/|
|rji(r,j,i)||Mapping set||Assigns priorities to regions in a basin to vary water right regime||
|rwa(r)||Upstream priority||Upstream users receive priority when shortages occur||upstream priority|
|rfm(r)||free_market||No restrictions on water reallocations from baseline||free market|
Terms ending in _p refer to parameters, data read by the model. They are:
|Nat_supp_p||(b)||Natural runoff inflow to basin||MCM / year|
|Nat_suppl_p||(b,t)||Stochastic water supply by year with set mean and standard deviation||MCM / Year|
|Nat_supply_p||(b,t,y)||Natural water supply adjusted by downstream delivery treaty requirement||MCM / Year|
|Pop_p||(b,t)||Forecast population by basin and years||thousands|
|Popratio_p||(b,t)||Ratio of given year population to base year||1 and above|
|Rho_p||Discount rate (1%)||unitless|
|Capacity_p||(b,s)||Maximum reservoir storage capacity||MCM|
|Com_cost_mcm||(b,s)||Construction cost per million cubic meters storage capacity||$US/MCM|
|Prop_right_p||(b,i)||Proportion of right to water compared by region within basin||0–1|
|Right_p||(b,i)||Customary absolute right to water supply by region||MCM / year|
|Shortage_p||(b,r,i,t,s,y)||Water storage relative to full supply right||0–1|
|Basin_use_p||(b,r, t,s,y)||Total water use in the basin||MCM / year|
|Change_store_p||(b,r, t,s,y)||Total change in storage||MCM / year|
|Bc_p||(b,i,k)||Water use per unit land (irrigation depth)||M / year|
|Land_p||(b,i,k)||Observed land in production||Ha / year|
|Price_p||(k,b)||Observed crop prices||$US per metric ton|
|Price_elast_p||(k,b)||Price elasticity of demand||unitless|
|Yield_p||(b,i,k)||Observed crop yield||Metric tons/ha|
|Cost_p||(b,i,k)||Production costs||$US per ha|
|A0_p||(b,k,t)||Intercept in price-dependent demand function||$US per metric ton|
|A1_p||(b,k,t)||Slope of price-dependent demand function||$US per metric ton|
|B0_p||(b,k,t)||Intercept in crop water production function (PMP)||Metric tons/ha|
|B1_p||(b,k,t)||Slope in crop water production function (PMP)||Metric tons/ha|
As characterized in the multi-basin model, variables are endogenous (unknown) and end in _v to distinguish the unknown data from parameters. These variables are optimized by the model, while respecting all important bounds. The most important variables are:
|Hectares_v||(b,r,i,k,t,s,y)||Land use||1000 ha|
|T_hectares_v||(b,r,i, t,s,y)||Total land use||1000 ha|
|Uses_v||(b,r,i, t,s,y)||Water use||MCM/year|
|Sum_uses_v||(b,r, t,s,y)||Summed water use||MCM/year|
|Production_v||(b,r,i,k,t,s,y)||Land in production details||1000 ha|
|Crop_price_v||(b,r, k,t,s,y)||Crop price||$US/ton|
|Netrev_v||(b,r,i,k,t,s,y)||Net revenue per unit land||$US/ha|
|Con_surp_v||(b,r, k,t,s,y)||Consumer surplus (willingness to pay in excess of price)||$US 1000 / year|
|Tgrossrev_v||(b,r,i,k,t,s,y)||Total gross revenue over all lands||$US 1000 / year|
|Ag_ben_j_v||(b,r,i,k,t,s,y)||Discounted ag benefits with details||$US 1000 / year|
|Tot_wel_v||(b,r, t,s,y)||Discounted total welfare||$US 1000 / year|
|Wel_wo_cd_v||(b,r, s,y)||Discounted total welfare without reservoir capacity expansion||$US 1000 / year|
|Ttot_wel_v||(b,r, s,y)||Discounted total welfare with reservoir capacity expansion||$US 1000 / year|
Mathematical expressions connecting the relationship between variables and parameters used in the optimization frame to characterize the most important indicators such as hydrology, land in production, crop production, and economic policy choices.
Basin headwater supply for the year t, X(t)
Crop water use equation calculated based on land in production
Water use summed over crops
It calculates water use summed over canals
Land in production summed over crops
Crop yields declines as acreage in production increases
It calculates crop production based on crop yield and acreage in production.
Total crop production summed over regions.
Linear demand function of crop price for each basin as influence by water right systems, region, time, storage capacity and treaty
Consumer surplus representing gains in economic benefits to the Afghan people as water right systems, treaty agreement and storage capacities are varied.
Net revenue per unit land is price times yield minus costs per unit land
Agricultural benefits by river basin, water right systems, agricultural region, crop, time period, storage capacity and treaty.
Discounted net present value of total economic welfare
Summed total welfare over crops
Net present value of farm income plus consumer surplus
Total net benefits after subtracting dam construction cost
Total benefits looped over all changeable indices
Shadow prices for all water allocation rules except unrestricted trading
Shadow prices for unrestricted trading
Water storage capacity is defined by natural supply at various values of the scale parameter (scale_p)
Total net benefits obtained after dam cost.
Bounds characterize constraints on institutions, technology, and water user behavior, while also producing realistic responses to future climate or policy adaptations to climate. A lower bound (.lo) on each water flows and land used assures no crop production or water supplies have negative values. An upper bound (.up) guards against a variable exceeding that set level.
Agricultural land in production cannot be negative.
uses_v . up (b, rwa, i, t, s, 'With_treaty’) = 0.8* wet_wat_use(b, rwa, i, t, s, 'With_treaty’) (25)
Bounds water use in production, with use in the face of a treaty set to 80% of without treaty level
When water trading is allowed among regions in each basin, only total water use is bounded.
The objective of the model is to maximize discounted net present value subject to the hydrologic and institutional constraints described above.
The objective function Ttot_wel_v(b,r,s,y) specified above is maximized for each basin, water shortage sharing rule, treaty agreement and storage capacity level. A total of 144 model runs are optimized.
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Acquah, S., Ward, F.A. Optimizing Adjustments to Transboundary Water Sharing Plans: A Multi-Basin Approach. Water Resour Manage 31, 5019–5042 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-017-1794-3
- Economic benefit
- transboundary water resources
- constrained optimization
- water treaties