Water Resources Management

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

Stability Analysis of Stakeholders’ Cooperation in Inter-Basin Water Transfer Projects: a Case Study

  • Azadeh AhmadiEmail author
  • Mohammad Amin Zolfagharipoor
  • Ali Akbar Afzali


This study investigates the conflict resolution among different stakeholders in a water transfer project. The portion of the Beheshtabad Water Transfer Project in Iran which aims to convey water from the Karun Basin to the Gavkhuni Basin is used as a case study. In this process, the initial water allocation scheme is initially determined through simulation in MODSIM ignoring the water transfer project. Then, the concepts of cooperative and non-cooperative games are used to resolve the conflict among the stakeholders. The profits of water transfer project and the payoffs for each player are calculated using an optimization model that optimizes the allocation of the conveyed water. The results of the conflict resolution model show that bilateral cooperation is the best strategy the players may adopt. In the non-cooperative model, it is found that a water transfer agreement that is incentivized by an average payment of 250.66 million US$ as compensation from the Gavkhuni basin to the Karun basin puts both basins at equilibrium with a Pareto optimal condition; in this case, none of the players will be willing to abandon the cooperation without regret. In the cooperative approach, cooperation is found to be beneficial to all the players involved.


Water allocation Optimization Conflict resolution Game theory Incentive payment MODSIM model 



The data presented in this paper were obtained from Iran Ministry of Energy (2012), which is published as the results of studies for the update of water country Iran master plan at the Gavkhooni and Karun basins.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

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