Multi-Objective Optimization of Hydropower and Agricultural Development at River Basin Scale

  • Amir Hatamkhani
  • Ali MoridiEmail author


The need for achieving efficient, equitable and sustainable use of water resources to meet water demands of different sectors is necessary, particularly in areas where water resources are decreasing. In the basins where water is required for both energy production and irrigation, allocation of water resources must be planned in such a way that both objectives can be achieved. In this research, a simulation-optimization approach has been used to solve the problem of optimal planning at the watershed scale. The water evaluation and planning system (WEAP) simulation model link with the multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) model for optimal long term planning at the basin scale. Therefore, the objective functions of the problem are 1) maximize the cultivation area of agricultural development sectors and 2) maximize the energy produced by the hydropower plant. The developed simulation-optimization model was employed in the problem of optimal water resources planning in the Kashkan river basin in the west of Iran. The Pareto front obtained represents the best trade-off between hydropower and agricultural development in the basin and can be used for water-energy-food nexus planning. For example one of the solutions of Pareto front, in addition to an increase of about 8% of the objective function 2 (generated energy), the value of the objective function 1 (cultivation area) is approximately 5 times higher than the results of previous studies. This demonstrates the proper performance of the simulation-optimization model in the optimal allocation and planning of water resources at the basin scale based on the water-energy-food nexus approach.


Hydropower Multiobjective Optimization MOPSO WEAP Water resources planning Agricultural development 



This research has been supported by the research grant no. 600/1181 funded by Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

There is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil, Water and Environmental Engineering FacultyShahid Beheshti UniversityTehranIran

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