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The Impacts of Water Pricing and Non-Pricing Policies on Sustainable Water Resources Management: A Case of Ghorveh Plain at Kurdistan Province, Iran

Department of Agricultural Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran 14115-336, Iran
Department of Agricultural Market Analysis, Institute of Agricultural Economics, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. (ATB), Max-Eyth-Allee 100, D-14469 Potsdam, Germany
Department of Mechanical & Biosystems Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran 14115-336, Iran
Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Federation University, Ballarat, VIC 3350, Australia
Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(14), 2667;
Received: 28 April 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 1 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Water for World Agriculture 2019)
PDF [2623 KB, uploaded 12 July 2019]


As with other regions of Iran, due to excessive extraction of groundwater for intense agricultural activity, Ghorveh plain, a water-scarce irrigation district in the west of Iran, has faced a serious water crisis during the last decade. The present study investigates the impacts of two scenario policies, namely, non-price policy (as a supply-oriented policy) and water pricing policies (as a demand-oriented policy) on agricultural sector of Ghorveh Plain, using positive mathematical programming (PMP). The model was calibrated by using farm-level data for the crop years in 2016–2017. Our findings indicate that applying water supply constraint policy will change the land use and cropping pattern to the crops with higher water productivity. The increase of water resource constraints can lead to the increase of water economic return which indicates a rising value of water resources shortage, warning the producers of the agriculture sector to allocate water to the crops with higher economic value under the water resources shortage conditions. In addition, the findings underline that in a situation where the price of irrigation water is low due to the low elasticity of water demand in the agriculture sector, formulating the economic instruments such as rising water prices does not solely suffice to achieve sustainable water resource management. However, mixed scenarios emphasized that the water distribution policies should be aligned with the increases in water cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: positive mathematical programming; agricultural policy; groundwater; pricing positive mathematical programming; agricultural policy; groundwater; pricing

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Asaadi, M.A.; Mortazavi, S.A.; Zamani, O.; Najafi, G.H.; Yusaf, T.; Hoseini, S.S. The Impacts of Water Pricing and Non-Pricing Policies on Sustainable Water Resources Management: A Case of Ghorveh Plain at Kurdistan Province, Iran. Energies 2019, 12, 2667.

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