Integrated Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources and Agricultural Systems in Hashtgerd Plain, Using System Dynamics Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Former Graduate Student of Water Engineering Department, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Water Engineering, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Water Engineering Department, College of Aburaihan, University of Tehran

4 Department of Water Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology


The population of Hashtgerd plain is rapidly on the growth, as a result of socio-economic developmental activities. This excessive population growth leads to increased groundwater withdrawal and water shortages especially in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, climate change can also exacerbate the water shortages in the coming decades. Thus, on assessment of water resources along with agricultural systems on this plain which requires a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach is demanding. The objective followed in this study was to simulate the qualitative and quantitative impacts of climate change and population growth on water resources and agricultural systems in Hashtgerd plain, employing system dynamics model. HadCM3 model made use of to evaluate climate change impacts under B1 and A2 emission scenarios as well as a model based on system dynamics approach were developed by considering the interaction and feedbacks among sub-systems. The results revealed that, during the period of 2020 to 2039 the vulnerability index in agricultural sector increased from 0.1 to 0.27 under A2 emission scenario while it was fixed in either of the domestic or industrial sectors. It was finally concluded that the, agricultural sector will be more vulnerable to climate change and population growth in comparison with the other two sectors.


Main Subjects

Akhtar, M. K., Wibe, J., Simonovic, S. P., and M acGee, J. (2013). ‘Integrated assessment model of society-biosphere-climate-economy-energy system’. Environmental modeling& Software. 49: 1-21.
Chen, Z. and Wei, S. (2014). ‘Application of system dynamics to water security research’.Water resources management. 28: 287-300.
Davies, E. G. R. and Simonovic, S. P. (2009). ‘Energy Sector for the Integrated System Dynamics Model for Analyzing Behaviour of the Social-Economic-Climatic Model’. Water Resources Research Report .no. 063, Facility for Intelligent Decision Support. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, London, Ontario, Canada, p. 191.
Davies, E. G. R. and Simonovic, S. P. (2011). ‘Global water resources modeling with an integrated model of the social–economic–environmental system’. Advances in Water Resources, 34(6), 684-700.
Dawadi, S. and Ahmad, S. (2013). ‘Evaluating the impact of demand-side management of water resources under changing climatic conditions and increasing population’. Journal of environmental management. 114: 261-275.
Draper, A. J., Jenkins, M. W., Kirby, K. W., Lund, J. R., and Howitt, R. E. (2003). ‘Economic engineering optimization for California water management’. Journal of water resources planning and management. ASCE. 129: 155-164.
Forrester, J. W. 1961. Industrial Dynamics, MIT Press, Cambridge.
Gohari, A., Eslamian, S., Mirchi, A., Abedi-Koupaei, J., Massah Bavani, and Madani, K. (2013). ‘Water transfer as a solution to water shortage: A fix that can backfire’. Journal of Hydrology . 491: 23-39.
Grey, D. and Garrick, D. (2012). ‘Water security as a defining of 21st century challenge. Water Security, Risk and Society Cinference.
Hagemann, S., Chen, C., Clark, D. B., Flowell, S., Gosling, S. N., Haddeland, I., Hanasaki, N., Ludwing, F., Voss, F., and Wiltshire, A. J. (2013). ‘Climate change impact on available water resources obtained using multiple global climate and hydrology models’. Earth System Dynamics.4: 129-144.
Hassanzadeh, E., Elshorbaghy, A., Wheater, H., and Gober, P. (2014). ‘Managing water in complex system: An integrated water resources model for Saskatchewan, Canada’. Journal of Environmental modeling& Software.58: 12-26.
Hashimoto, T., Stedinger, J. R., and Loucks, D. P. (1982). ‘Reliability, resiliency and vulnerability criteria for water resource system performance evaluation’. Water Resources. 18: 14-20.
Langsdale, S., Beall, A., Carmichael, J., Cohen, S., and Forster, C. (2007). ‘An Exploration of Water Resources Futures under Climate Change Using System Dynamics Modeling’, Integrated Assessment , 7: 51-79.
Lobell, D., Burke, M., Tebaldi, C., Mastrandera, M., Falcon, W., and Naylor, R. (2008) .Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030. Science.319 (5863), 607-610.
Loucks, D. P. (1997). Quantifying trends in system sustainability. Hydrology Sci. J. 42: 513-530.
Loucks D. P. and van Beek, E. (2005). ‘Water Resources Systems Planning and Management.’ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris, France.
Madani, K. and Marino, M. A. (2009). ‘System dynamics analysis for managing Iran’s Zayandeh-Rud river basin’. Water Resources Management. 23: 2163-2187.
Massah Bavani, A. R. and Morid, S. (2005). ‘The impacts of climate change on water resources and agricultural production’. Journal of Water Resources. 1: 40-47. (In Farsi).
Mirchi, A., Watkins, D. W. Jr., Madani, K. (2010). ‘Modeling for watershed planning,  management and decision making’. In: Vaughn JC (ed) Watersheds management, restoration and environmental impact. Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, New York.
Sandoval-Solis, S., McKinney, D. C., and Loucks, D. P. (2011). ‘Sustainability index for water resources planning and management’. Journal of water resources planning management. 137: 381-390.
Simonovic, S. P. and Rajasekaram, V. (2004). Integrated analyses of Canada’s water resources: a system dynamics approach. Can. Water Resour. J. 29: 223-250.
Statistical center of Iran. (2011). Population and housing census report, from
Sterman, J. D. (2000). Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, New York.
UN-Water. (2006). Coping with water scarcity: a strategic issue and priority for system-wide action.
Un-Water. (2014). Annual report: Water and energy Facts and Figures.
Vörösmarty, C. J., McIntyre, P. B., Dudgeon, D., Prusevich, A., Green, P., Glidden, S., Bunn, S. E., Sullivan, C. A., Reidy Liermann, C., and Davies, P. M. (2010). ‘Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity’. Journal of Science. 467(7315): 555-561.
Wilby, R. L. and Harris, I. (2006). ‘A framework for assessing uncertainties in climate change impacts: low-flow scenarios for the River Thames, UK’. Water resources research. 42(2): 1-10.
Yekom Consulting Engineering Co., (2011). Determination of resources and consumption of water in the Namak Lake Basin. Iran.)In Farsi).