Mitigating Socio-Economic-Environmental Impacts During Drought Periods by Optimizing the Conjunctive Management of Water Resources

Farhang Daneshmand, Akbar Karimi, Mohammad Reza Nikoo, Mohammad Reza Bazargan-Lari, Jan Adamowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-period optimization of conjunctive water management can utilize reservoirs and aquifer carry-over to alleviate drought impacts. Stakeholders' socio-economic and environmental indices can be used to minimize the socio-economic and environmental costs associated with water shortages in drought periods. The knowledge gap here is the evaluation and inclusion of the socio-economic and environmental value of conjunctive water management in terms of its drought mitigation capability. In this paper, an integrated water quantity-quality optimization model that considers socio-economic and environmental indices is developed. The model considers and integrates reservoir and aquifer carry-over, river-aquifer interaction and water quality with stakeholders' socio-economic indices of production, net income and labor force employment to evaluate the socio-economic and environmental value of conjunctive water management. Total dissolved solid (TDS) is used as the water quality index for environmental assessments. The model is formulated as a multi-period nonlinear optimization model, with analysis determining the optimal decisions for reservoir release and withdrawal from the river and aquifer in different months to maximize the socio-economic indices of stakeholders within the environmental constraints. The proposed model is used in Zayandehrood water resource system in Iran, which suffers from water supply and pollution problems. Model analysis results show that conjunctive water use in the Zayandehrood water basin reduces salinity by 50 % in the wetland and keeps water supply reduction during a drought under 10 % of irrigation demand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1517-1529
Number of pages13
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Conjunctive water use
  • Drought
  • Environmental indices
  • Optimization
  • Socio-economic indices
  • Water quality
  • Water resource management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

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