Volume 14, Issue 28 (11-2023)                   J Watershed Manage Res 2023, 14(28): 16-36 | Back to browse issues page

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Aslani M, Monem M J, Bagheri A. (2023). Development of the Conceptual Model for Water, Food and Energy Chain (Nexus) in Water Management in Irrigation Networks Using Systems Dynamics Approach. J Watershed Manage Res. 14(28), 16-36. doi:10.61186/jwmr.14.28.16
URL: http://jwmr.sanru.ac.ir/article-1-1235-en.html
Department of Water engineering and Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tarbiat Modares, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (1019 Views)
Extended Abstract
Introduction and Objective: The main purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual model for integrated management of irrigation network based on water, food and energy linkage (Nexus). This requires identifying the main concerns related to irrigation networks, introducing and reflecting important decision variables and interactions between them, which explains the dynamics of water, food and energy chains within the boundaries a unit (irrigation network) of a catchment. This approach has received less attention in the management of irrigation networks, which is expected to solve some of the problems of irrigation network management. The method used in this research is based on a review of the Nexus chain management literature, the concepts of sustainability and security of water, food and energy resources in irrigation networks, and a practical approach to system dynamics. The major part of the research relied on field activities, including inspection to irrigation networks and interviews with provincial experts, specialists and technicians, Agricultural water users. Important variables affecting the integrated management of irrigation networks, which have been used in designing the framework, analyzing and determining behavioral patterns, were identified.
Material and Methods: The eight main concerns of irrigation networks as important mechanisms of system dynamics for both levels (network management and field management) were identified as follows:
- Subsystem of water resource limitation in the domain of an irrigation network that affects the growth of the most important economic loop in the region (Limit to growth Archetype).
- The combined subsystem in the face of the weakness of the equity index in the network (the success to the successful archetype in obtaining more water resources, the shifting the burden archetype in providing the water needs of the downstream farmers and the escalation archetype in the increase in the amount of water needed as a result of changes in the cultivation pattern in general Agriculture of the region).
- The set of personal and managerial actions in the face of the shortage of water volume available in the network resulting from the adoption of decisions without long-term consequences (combined archetypes of fixes that backfire in meeting water needs from groundwater resources, allocation of more water resources to meet network obligations and changes in the cultivation pattern to obtain more yields).
- The set of individual decisions of farmers and the symptomatic solutions of managers in the face of unsupplied water demand in the agricultural sector (a combination archetypes of fixes that backfire for unauthorized access to groundwater resources and the archetype of shifting the burden in the face of network managers with the problem of illegal harvesting activities by providing a solution for choking wells).
- Product performance subsystem (problem of using agricultural inputs) (combined archetypes of fixes that backfire in farmers' use of agricultural inputs and the its consequences on land salinity, as well as increasing the farmed area to achieve more yield).
- The subsystem of facing the most important problem of the agricultural sector (water productivity in agriculture), (the archetype of shifting the burden in dealing network officials with improving water productivity through improving network efficiency versus the fundamental solution of improving water productivity at the agricultural block level and archetype of fixes that backfire of the development of the arrangement delivery plan with the tools of educating to farmers in front of the long-term side effects of more management of water delivered to farmers).
- The subsystem of noticeable decrease in the utility of the network (the archetype of eroding goals in accordance with the pressures on the network managers and ultimately the downgrading of the initial goals of the irrigation network plan, which requires a review of the structural infrastructure and managerial empowerment in the irrigation network).
- The explanation subsystem of the Nexus index as the main combined index from the point of view of water, food and energy (providing a fundamental solution to improve the utility versus increasing the farmed area as an ineffective symptomatic solution in this field).
Results: According to the main concerns, behavioral patterns were explained and identified based on the decision mechanisms of water users and network managers, in the short and long term, and their side effects. Six system archetypes were identified that represent the dynamics of the irrigation network and predict the future utility of the network based on the water, food and energy chain (Nexus). These archetypes include: "Limit to Growth", "Fixes that Backfire", "Success to the Successful", "Escalation", "Eroding goals" and "Shifting the Burden".
Conclusion: Three strategies for controlling the above mechanisms as regional Solution (local strategies) are proposed as follows: a- Water Distribution Improvement Schemes, b- Determining the Crop pattern and Irrigation density in proportion to the network capacity and c- Groundwater Extraction Control. As a result of this research, a conceptual model has been developed whose main achievement is to recommend the modification of the existing process of distribution schemes along with the modification of the crop pattern in accordance with the primary design and the water need of farmers.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: مديريت حوزه های آبخيز
Received: 2023/04/10 | Revised: 2024/01/8 | Accepted: 2023/06/12 | Published: 2024/01/8

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