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Safavi, Hamid R., Golmohammadi, M.H., Sandoval-Solis, S., (2016), Scenario analysis for integrated water resources planning and management under uncertainty in the Zayandehrud river basin, Journal of Hydrology, 539, 625-639.


Scenario analysis for integrated water resources planning and management under uncertainty in the Zayandehrud river basin

Hamid R. Safavi, Associate Prof., Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran,

Mohammad H. Golmohammadi, Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology (IUT), Isfahan, Iran,

Samuel Sandoval-Solis, Assistant Prof., Department of Land, Air and Water Resource, University of California, Davis, CA, USA



The goal of this study is to develop and analyze three scenarios in the Zayandehrud river basin in Iran
using a model already built and calibrated by Safavi et al. (2015) that has results for the baseline scenario.
Results from the baseline scenario show that water demands will be supplied at the cost of depletion of
surface and ground water resources, making this scenario undesirable and unsustainable. Supply
Management, Demand Management, and Meta (supply and demand management) scenarios are the
selected scenarios in this study. They are to be developed and declared into the Zayandehrud model to
assess and evaluate the imminent status of the basin. Certain strategies will be employed for this purpose
to improve and rectify the current management policies. The five performance criteria of time-based and
volumetric reliability, resilience, vulnerability, and maximum deficit will be employed in the process of
scenario analysis and evaluation. The results obtained from the performance criteria will be summed up
into a so-called ‘Water Resources Sustainability Index’ to facilitate comparison among the likely tradeoffs.
Uncertainties arising from historical data, management policies, rainfall-runoff model, demand priorities,
and performance criteria are considered in the proposed conceptual framework and modeled by
appropriate approaches. Results show that the Supply Management scenario can be used to improve
upon the demand supply but that it has no tangible effects on the improvement of the resources in
the study region. In this regard, the Demand Management scenario is found to be more effective than
the water supply one although it still remains unacceptable. Results of the Meta scenario indicate that
both the supply and demand management scenarios must be applied if the water resources are to be safeguarded
against degradation and depletion. In other words, the supply management scenario is necessary
but not adequate; rather, it must be coupled to the demand management scenario. Finally, it will be
shown that applying the Meta scenario will improve the water resources from sustainably.


Keywords: Integrated Water Resources Management, Scenario analysis, Uncertainty, Zayandehrud basin, Sustainability index, Fuzzy approach

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