Optimized Reservoir Management for Meeting Conflicting Stakeholder Preferences: Methodological Innovations with Evidence from Iran

  • Omid ZamaniEmail author
  • Hemen Nader
  • Masoomeh Rashidghalam
  • Frank A. Ward
Part of the Perspectives on Development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region book series (PDMENA)


An ongoing challenge the water policymakers facing is to allocate water supplies controlled by reservoirs among competing uses. Despite many methodological advances in recent years, there is little agreement on the best method to meet the water demands of competing stakeholders. This study aims to fill that gap by the development of a multi-objective model defined as simple maximization of discounted net present value while meeting a minimum food and water security objective. In this region, as other part of Iran, irrigation is the largest use of water, followed by domestic use. Since the 1990s, Urmia Lake Basin containing the Mahabad Dam and reservoir has experienced a series of water shortages. Therefore, water distribution between different users has become more challenging for policymakers. The results of this study showed that the economic value of water for irrigated agriculture has major influence on the most economically efficient method to allocate reservoir water. Nevertheless, food security goals have an important influence on reservoir allocation. The optimized cropping pattern showed that the price of wheat cultivation was an important determinant of how reservoir water should be allocated for improved economic efficiency.


Goal programming Water allocation Water stakeholders Irrigation Food security Iran 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omid Zamani
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Hemen Nader
    • 2
  • Masoomeh Rashidghalam
    • 3
  • Frank A. Ward
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Market AnalysisInstitute of Agricultural Economics, Christian-Albrechts-University KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural EconomicsUniversity of ZabolZabolIran
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural EconomicsUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural BusinessNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA
  5. 5.Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. (ATB)PotsdamGermany

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