Special Issue "Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2018) | Viewed by 32965

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Josue Medellin-Azuara
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of California, Merced, USA
Interests: hydro-economic models; integrated water management; economics of agricultural; consumptive water use; climate change adaptation; engineering economics; modeling agriculture; water management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Guilherme F. Marqes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Pesquisas Hidraulicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Interests: hydropower; urban water use; hydro-economic models; water management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Amaury Tilmant
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Civil and Water Engineering, Laval University, Quebec
Interests: agricultural production; dynamic programming; hydro-economic models; water management; consumptive use; economic analysis; policy analysis
Prof. Manuel Pulido-Velazquez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (IIAMA), Universitat Politècnica de València
Interests: hydro-economic modelling; water management; conjunctive use; water and environmental economics; policy analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As a scarce resource, water often has economic value connected to its use. This value is employed in various use decisions, including irrigation, production proceses, sanitation, hydropower, recreation, and ecosystem services. However, water economic value often plays a decimated role in water management, even when water is reclaimed through costly storage and conveyance infrastructure, and shared among competing users. The common approach to water as an insdisputable requirement, rather than a variable and uncertain economic resource, fails to properly signal its scarcity to society, leading to inefficient use, unnecesarily large infrastructure, and lost development opportunities. Hydro-economic models provide a framework to respresent economic values of water under various uses, infrastructure, and hydrologic and environmental features within regions in a consistent manner This Special Issue provides an overview of economic water valuation and hydroeconomic models. Concepts are reinforced with case studies involving management, modeling, and analysis involving the economic value of water, and its application in improving the economic efficiency of water systems. Prospects for hydro-economic models in managing water resources in the future are discussed.

Assoc. Prof. Josue Medellin-Azuara
Prof. Guilherme F. Marqes
Prof. Amaury Tilmant
Prof. Manuel Pulido-Velazquez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Economic value of the water

  • Economic instruments for water management

  • Marginal benefits of water use

  • Water tarifs

  • Water scarcity

  • Scarcity costs

  • Water resources planning and management

  • Water allocation and decision making

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Reassessing Water Allocation Strategies and Conjunctive Use to Reduce Water Scarcity and Scarcity Costs for Irrigated Agriculture in Southern Brazil
Water 2019, 11(6), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061140 - 30 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2611
Abstract
The lack of adequate management programs alongside water resources overexploitation have led to undesirable effects such as water shortages and economic losses in several regions. Optimized water allocation strategies using groundwater and surface water resources could reduce water scarcity and scarcity costs by [...] Read more.
The lack of adequate management programs alongside water resources overexploitation have led to undesirable effects such as water shortages and economic losses in several regions. Optimized water allocation strategies using groundwater and surface water resources could reduce water scarcity and scarcity costs by exploring the advantages and peculiarities of each source, thus reducing the effect of variability and uncertainties on water availability. The aim of this study is to assess economic water allocation and the potential of conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater operations using a hydro-economic model to evaluate scarcity and scarcity cost at an irrigated agricultural region in Southern Brazil. Results indicated the possibility to reduce but not entirely eliminate, water scarcity and scarcity cost based solely on the reallocation of water among users and crops, without generating water deficit to users downstream. Results also pointed to the elevated potential of groundwater use as a component to reduce scarcity and its costs, mainly through economic optimized strategies integrated with surface water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Insights from a Calibrated Optimization Model for Irrigated Agriculture under Drought in an Irrigation District on the Central Mexican High Plains
Water 2019, 11(4), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040858 - 24 Apr 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3209
Abstract
An economic assessment of the value of agricultural water was conducted at the subdistrict (module) level within the Alto Rio Lerma Irrigation District 011 in Guanajuato, Mexico. The assessment employed positive mathematical programming (PMP), a deductive valuation methodology, which self-calibrates to baseline production [...] Read more.
An economic assessment of the value of agricultural water was conducted at the subdistrict (module) level within the Alto Rio Lerma Irrigation District 011 in Guanajuato, Mexico. The assessment employed positive mathematical programming (PMP), a deductive valuation methodology, which self-calibrates to baseline production input use. Production and water use values for the 2016–2017 agricultural year, and the averages of the 2014 to 2017 agricultural years for yields, agricultural commodity prices, and production costs were employed disaggregated per irrigation module. Results indicate that the economic value of water is 1.8 to 4.7 times higher than the rate currently paid by users, about US$7.89 dam−3 (cubic decameters). The differences among the rate and shadow prices could create a pricing water policy focused on water conservation and its efficient use. This work also conducts an assessment of a formal water market in the irrigation district as way to achieve economically efficient water allocations and reduce the potential economic impacts of water shortage during droughts. Modeling results show that an active water market would allow the irrigation district to adapt to scarcer water conditions by shifting cropping patterns and trading water among subdistricts, by reducing loss in net income at the irrigation district. A successful implementation of this system would be feasible, provided that the irrigation modules are able to import and export water, under water scarcity scenarios considered for the water market model. Potential distributional effects and policy insights from this assessment are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Supporting Sustainable Water Management: Insights from Australia’s Reform Journey and Future Directions for the Murray–Darling Basin
Water 2018, 10(11), 1649; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111649 - 14 Nov 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3149
Abstract
Effective regulation of freshwater remains one of the biggest challenges facing our societies. In times of record-breaking weather extremes spurred by a changing climate, decision makers are increasingly aware of the need to formulate more effective governance to ensure the reliability, accessibility, and [...] Read more.
Effective regulation of freshwater remains one of the biggest challenges facing our societies. In times of record-breaking weather extremes spurred by a changing climate, decision makers are increasingly aware of the need to formulate more effective governance to ensure the reliability, accessibility, and quality of this life-giving resource. In recent years, the Australian government has played a key role in water management. The government has managed a significant amount of water entitlements in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB), through its Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) agency, in a bid to increase river flows and thus improve the river system’s environmental and ecological conditions. The CEWH is unique in many respects, and the Australian government’s control of its budget and actions is a critical aspect of the Basin’s sustainable long-term management. Despite the importance of this instrument, this article points out that there are serious issues with the current governance arrangements, such as inherent conflicts in the Murray–Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) role, which is a concern raised by the Productivity Commission. This article goes on to recommend the policy changes required to address Basin-wide issues and promote sustainable practices to ensure the MDB’s long-term resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
Article
Global Economic and Food Security Impacts of Demand-Driven Water Scarcity—Alternative Water Management Options for a Thirsty World
Water 2018, 10(10), 1442; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101442 - 13 Oct 2018
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4580
Abstract
Global freshwater demand will likely continue its expansion under current expectations of economic and population growth. Withdrawals in regions which are already water-scarce will impose further pressure on the renewable water resource base threatening the long-term availability of freshwater across the many economic [...] Read more.
Global freshwater demand will likely continue its expansion under current expectations of economic and population growth. Withdrawals in regions which are already water-scarce will impose further pressure on the renewable water resource base threatening the long-term availability of freshwater across the many economic activities dependent on this resource for various functions. This paper assesses the economy-wide implications of demand-driven water scarcity under a ‘middle-of-the-road’ socio-economic development pathway by considering the trade-offs between the macroeconomic and food security impacts. The study employs a global CGE model comprising an advanced level of detail regarding water uses across economic activities and which allows for a sector-specific endogenous adaptation to water scarcity. A sustainable withdrawal threshold is imposed in regions with extended river-basin overexploitation (India, South Asia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa) whilst different water management options are considered through four alternative allocation methods across users. The scale of macroeconomic effects is dependent on the relative size of sectors with low-water productivity, the amount of water uses in these sectors, and the flexibility of important water users to substitute away from water inputs in conditions of scarcity. The largest negative GDP deviations are obtained in scenarios with limited mobility to re-allocate water across users. A significant alleviation is obtained when demand patterns are shifted based on differences in water productivity, however, with a significant imposition on food security prospects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Effectiveness of Contour Farming and Filter Strips on Ecosystem Services
Water 2018, 10(10), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101312 - 22 Sep 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3383
Abstract
The failing ecosystem services in Thika-Chania catchment is manifested in the deterioration of water quality, sedimentation of reservoirs, and subsequent increase in water treatment costs due to high turbidity. The services can be restored by implementing relevant soil and water conservation practices to [...] Read more.
The failing ecosystem services in Thika-Chania catchment is manifested in the deterioration of water quality, sedimentation of reservoirs, and subsequent increase in water treatment costs due to high turbidity. The services can be restored by implementing relevant soil and water conservation practices to enhance flow regulation and control sediment yield. The impacts of contour farming and filter strips on water and sediment yield were evaluated using Soil Water and Assessment Tool (SWAT), Texas A&M University, USA. Sediment calibration and validation was achieved using data obtained from a bathymetric survey. Model parameters were adjusted to simulate the conservation impacts of contour farming and filter strips. Results indicated the average annual sediment yield as 22 t/ha at the outlet of the catchment and average annual surface runoff of 202 mm. The simulation results showed that filter strips of 5 m width would reduce the average annual sediment yield from the catchment by 54%. The efficacy of filter strips in reducing sediment yield was observed to increase with increasing filter width. Three-meter filter strips and contour farming reduced the average annual sediment yield at catchment outlet by 46% and 36%, respectively. It was concluded that the implementation of contour farming and filters strips reduced sediments by 63% from the base value. Water yield at the sub-basin level was only influenced by contour farming. The total water yield at the catchment outlet experienced no significant change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Optimization Model for Agricultural Reclaimed Water Allocation Using Mixed-Integer Nonlinear Programming
Water 2018, 10(10), 1291; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101291 - 20 Sep 2018
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3260
Abstract
Reclaimed water (RW) is a reliable alternative water supply for irrigation in the agricultural sector, which is the predominant consumer of water in Iraq. A mixed-integer nonlinear programming reclaimed water allocation optimization model was developed to maximize the net benefit generated from the [...] Read more.
Reclaimed water (RW) is a reliable alternative water supply for irrigation in the agricultural sector, which is the predominant consumer of water in Iraq. A mixed-integer nonlinear programming reclaimed water allocation optimization model was developed to maximize the net benefit generated from the cultivation of different types of crops, comparing the use of reclaimed water type A (tertiary treated water), and reclaimed water type B (secondary treated water). The model was solved using the Algorithms for coNTinuous/Integer Global Optimization of Nonlinear Equations (ANTIGONE) optimizer in the general algebraic modeling system (GAMS). A total of 84 agricultural farms located on 5300 ha to the south of Baghdad, Iraq were available for irrigation with reclaimed water. Analysis considered varying quantities of available reclaimed water and different irrigation efficiencies (45–85%). The net benefits from using lower quantities of reclaimed water were similar for both types of reclaimed water, and the highest net benefit crop was cultivated on 384 ha. As the quantities of water increased, the amount of cultivated land increased and the net benefit per hectare decreased as the model required the cultivation of more crops with lower economic value. Irrigation with reclaimed water has potential to increase agricultural and economic activity adjacent to Baghdad. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Re-Examining Regional Total-Factor Water Efficiency and Its Determinants in China: A Parametric Distance Function Approach
Water 2018, 10(10), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101286 - 20 Sep 2018
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2232
Abstract
It is accepted that improving water efficiency is a key task for China in achieving water sustainability, as the knowledge of water efficiency and its determinants can provide critical information for water policy formulation. To this end, this paper presents a parametric frontier [...] Read more.
It is accepted that improving water efficiency is a key task for China in achieving water sustainability, as the knowledge of water efficiency and its determinants can provide critical information for water policy formulation. To this end, this paper presents a parametric frontier approach to analyze water efficiency performance and its influencing factors in one step. The proposed approach first introduces the Shephard water distance function to construct total-factor water efficiency (TFWE) index and then adopts the stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) technique to compute the index and its determinants. A case study of regions in China from 2000 to 2015 is presented. The main findings are summarized as follows: (1) Both the overall China and most of the regions still have room for improvement in water efficiency. SFA and data envelopment analysis (DEA) might lead to different results in benchmarking water efficiency. Moreover, SFA has higher discriminating power than DEA in this regard. (2) There exists significant disparity of water efficiency among the regions of China, and the difference in TFWE takes on a U-shaped evolution trend, which first decreases in a fluctuation way and then increases monotonically. (3) Factors like industrial structure, import and export trade, environmental regulation and urbanization level have a positive impact on water efficiency, while resource endowment and economic level exhibit negative and nonlinear effects, respectively. Finally, several policy recommendations are made to improve water efficiency levels and promote water sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Interval Multi-Attribute Decision of Watershed Ecological Compensation Schemes Based on Projection Pursuit Cluster
Water 2018, 10(9), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091280 - 19 Sep 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3106
Abstract
The ecological compensation scheme of water pollution in the basin is a result of the interplay between upstream and downstream cities, which is of great significance to the guidance of regional economic development. The purpose of this paper is to propose a multi-attribute [...] Read more.
The ecological compensation scheme of water pollution in the basin is a result of the interplay between upstream and downstream cities, which is of great significance to the guidance of regional economic development. The purpose of this paper is to propose a multi-attribute scheme decision algorithm, which is expressed in the form of interval number, to reduce the uncertainty of decision results and improve the reliability of decision results. This method first uses the Monte Carlo simulation technique to produce a large number of random samples in the various attributes of the decision matrix to construct the random decision-making matrix (DMM). Then, according to the overall dispersion and local concentration of the random DMM, the clustering method of the projection pursuit is adopted. By accelerating the genetic algorithm, the weight and the best projection eigenvalues of each scheme are optimized, and the sorting results of the decision-making cases are obtained based on the projected eigenvalues. The results of the case study show that the uncertainty of the decision results is greater when the number of random simulations is very low; as the number of random simulations increases, the result of the decision becomes more and more stable and clear, and the uncertainty decreases. The results of the Duncan test show that, scheme 2, which is composed of financial compensation and remote development, is better than other schemes, and the decision making is more reasonable. The result of this decision has certain values for the ecological compensation scheme in Suzhou and Jiaxing cities, and the proposed method can be applied in similar range multi-attribute scheme decision-making issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
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Article
Simulating Water Allocation and Cropping Decisions in Yemen’s Abyan Delta Spate Irrigation System
Water 2018, 10(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020121 - 29 Jan 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3729
Abstract
Agriculture employs more Yemenis than any other sector and spate irrigation is the largest source of irrigation water. Spate irrigation however is growing increasingly difficult to sustain in many areas due to water scarcity and unclear sharing of water amongst users. In some [...] Read more.
Agriculture employs more Yemenis than any other sector and spate irrigation is the largest source of irrigation water. Spate irrigation however is growing increasingly difficult to sustain in many areas due to water scarcity and unclear sharing of water amongst users. In some areas of Yemen, there are no institutionalised water allocation rules which can lead to water related disputes. Here, we propose a proof-of-concept model to evaluate the impacts of different water allocation patterns to assist in devising allocation rules. The integrated model links simple wadi flow, diversion, and soil moisture-yield simulators to a crop decision model to evaluate impacts of different water allocation rules and their possible implications on local agriculture using preliminary literature data. The crop choice model is an agricultural production model of irrigation command areas where the timing, irrigated area and crop mix is decided each month based on current conditions and expected allocations. The model is applied to Yemen’s Abyan Delta, which has the potential to be the most agriculturally productive region in the country. The water allocation scenarios analysed include upstream priority, downstream priority, equal priority (equal sharing of water shortages), and a user-defined mixed priority that gives precedence to different locations based on the season. Once water is distributed according to one of these allocation patterns, the model determines the profit-maximising plant date and crop selection for 18 irrigated command areas. This aims to estimate the impacts different water allocation strategies could have on livelihoods. Initial results show an equal priority allocation is the most equitable and efficient, with 8% more net benefits than an upstream scenario, 10% more net benefits than a downstream scenario, and 25% more net benefits than a mixed priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
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Opinion
Leveraging Hydrologic Accounting and Water Markets for Improved Water Management: The Case for a Central Clearinghouse
Water 2018, 10(12), 1720; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121720 - 24 Nov 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3016
Abstract
Effective management of water resources requires signaling the scarcity value of water to society. However, accurate signaling is often limited by incomplete and/or untimely accounting of hydrologic stores and flows of water. In this opinion piece, we advocate an incisive yet conceptually simple [...] Read more.
Effective management of water resources requires signaling the scarcity value of water to society. However, accurate signaling is often limited by incomplete and/or untimely accounting of hydrologic stores and flows of water. In this opinion piece, we advocate an incisive yet conceptually simple framework for transparent, real-time accounting of water stores and flows, including both groundwater and surface water, to inform water markets organized around a central clearinghouse. This framework promotes forthright collaboration among disciplines to improve system efficiency and increase water-management transparency. We use California water management as an example for the potential for a central clearinghouse framework that has proven so beneficial to transparency of energy markets in that region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroeconomic Analysis for Sustainable Water Management)
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