Optimal Planning for Water Resources Allocation (Case study: Hableh Roud Basin, Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Professor, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Associate Professor, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Gonbad Kavoos High Education Center, Gonbad Kavoos, Iran


The world is facing severe challenges in meeting the rapidly growing demand for water resources. In addition,
irrigation water which is the largest use of water in most developing countries and arid and semi arid regions, will likely
have to be diverted increasingly to meet the needs of the households in urban areas and industry sectors whilst remaining a
prime engine of agricultural growth. A Linear Programming (LP) model has been developed to allocate the land and water
resources to different crop activities for maximizing the net return. Application of the model for the irrigation water
management revealed that in winter, 89.4% of available channel water was utilized, out of which 55.9% and 18.5% were
allocated for wheat and barley, respectively .The remaining 25.6% channel water was allocated for cotton and
watermelon. Since there were enough channel water supplies in this season, only 10.6% of available groundwater was
utilized. In the absence of constraint on conjunctive use, there would have been no groundwater exploitation, and 100% of
the channel water, which is much cheaper than groundwater, could have been utilized, if required. During summer season,
the entire quantities of water available in channel as well as groundwater resources were utilized. In this season, as there
was limited channel water supply, considerable part of the irrigation requirement was met from available groundwater.
Based on the LP analysis, out of total available channel water, 43.2% was allocated to cotton cropping, which was most
profitable as compared to all other crop activities, followed by 38.3%, 9.5% and 9% to crop activities including
watermelon, barely and wheat, respectively. Out of total available groundwater, 65.8% was allocated to cotton whose
irrigation water need was high and the remaining 34.2% was shared by wheat, barley and watermelon cropping activities.
The model predicts that in the case of changes in irrigation water supply, it will be economic to change the cropping