Next Article in Journal
Rainfall and Temperature in the Limpopo River Basin, Southern Africa: Means, Variations, and Trends from 1979 to 2013
Previous Article in Journal
The Risk Assessment of River Water Pollution Based on a Modified Non-Linear Model
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

A Linear Programming Approach to Water Allocation during a Drought

Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford University Centre for the Environment, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, Manor Road Building, Oxford OX1 3UQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(4), 363;
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
PDF [303 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


The economic impacts of a drought depend critically on how water is allocated to different users. Choices as to water allocation can often reflect wider economic policy, environmental, and social goals and constraints. This research applies a multi-objective linear programming input-output method to determine a suite of water supply allocations for different economic sectors in a drought. Using the UK as a case study, we develop estimates of the minimum potential economic impact associated with different water allocations under a range of climate and policy scenarios. Estimates of total impact range from −0.16% to −1.48% of total output depending on the drought scenarios tested. The approach offers the flexibility to set different policy objectives in terms of water allocations/restrictions, employment or a range of other objectives, including constraints to rebalance the economic system. In allowing for the inclusion of other economic, social, and environmental constraints, it provides a framework for policymakers to assess how water allocation decisions interact with other policy goals to determine the economic impacts of a drought. Challenging decisions about how to allocate water during a drought are likely to remain important in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: input-output analysis; water economics; water management; optimization input-output analysis; water economics; water management; optimization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Freire-González, J.; Decker, C.A.; Hall, J.W. A Linear Programming Approach to Water Allocation during a Drought. Water 2018, 10, 363.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top