Bayesian Network Modeling to Improve Water Pricing Practices in Northwest China
AbstractWater pricing is regarded as the most important and simplest economic instrument to encourage more efficient use of irrigation water in crop production. In the extremely water-scarce Tarim River basin in northwest China, improving water use efficiency has high relevance for research and policy. A Bayesian network modeling approach was applied, which is especially suitable under data-scarce conditions and the complex geo-hydrological, socioeconomic, and institutional settings of the study region, as it allows the integration of data from various types of sources. The transdisciplinary approach aimed at understanding the actual water pricing practices, the shortcomings of the current system, and possible ways of improvement. In an iterative procedure of expert interviews and group workshops, the key factors related to water pricing and water use efficiency were identified. The interactions among specific factors were defined by the respective experts, generating a causal network, which describes all relevant aspects of the investigated system. This network was finally populated with probabilistic relationships through a second round of expert interviews and group discussions. The Bayesian modeling exercise was then conducted using Netica software. The modeling results show that the mere increase of water price does not lead to significant increases in water use efficiency in crop production. Additionally, the model suggests a shift to volumetric water pricing, subsidization of water saving irrigation technology, and advancing agricultural extension to enable the farmer to efficiently react to increased costs for water. The applied participatory modeling approach helped to stimulate communication among relevant stakeholders from different domains in the region, which is necessary to create mutual understanding and joint targeted action. Finally, the challenges related to the applied transdisciplinary Bayesian modeling approach are discussed in the Chinese context. View Full-Text
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Mamitimin, Y.; Feike, T.; Doluschitz, R. Bayesian Network Modeling to Improve Water Pricing Practices in Northwest China. Water 2015, 7, 5617-5637.
Mamitimin Y, Feike T, Doluschitz R. Bayesian Network Modeling to Improve Water Pricing Practices in Northwest China. Water. 2015; 7(10):5617-5637.Chicago/Turabian Style
Mamitimin, Yusuyunjiang; Feike, Til; Doluschitz, Reiner. 2015. "Bayesian Network Modeling to Improve Water Pricing Practices in Northwest China." Water 7, no. 10: 5617-5637.