Investigating the Impacts of Restoration Scenarios for Mashhad Aquifer Using Systems Dynamic Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


1 associated professor, water eng. group, Imam Khomeini International University، Qazvin

2 Water Engineering Dept./ Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran


The declining trend of groundwater reserves due to the high importance of these resources for water supply has become a major challenge, especially in arid and semi-arid regions such as many plains of Iran. On the other hand, the establishment of an urban wastewater project will impact directly the aquifer of the plain and intensified the process of reducing these reserves. Since systems dynamics (SD) is a method for studying and managing complex and feedback systems. The integrated evaluation and simulation of complex water resources systems to adopt dynamic approaches in line with the principles of sustainable development is the solution to this great challenge. This study aims to investigate the effect of revival strategies in the framework of sustainable development principles on improving the aquifer reserves under different scenarios. The Mashhad aquifer was picked as a case study. Simulation of aquifer was performed using the system dynamics approach and Vensim PLE model during 1362-1420. Scenarios studied include 1) Simulation of the aquifer condition without urban wastewater collection network. 2) Simulation of Mashhad aquifer with urban wastewater network and supply of a part of agricultural needs with treated sewage. 3) Existence of urban wastewater network and change of agricultural method from traditional to modern. 4) Urban wastewater network and increased levels of permeability in the urban architecture. 5) Including urban wastewater network, changes to modern agricultural and increasing pervious surfaces in the city. The results showed that using methods such as changing agricultural methods, increasing water productivity and improving urban architecture with a focus on increasing permeable levels can reduce the aquifer shortage between 22.0 % to 58.5%, compared to scenario 2. While not paying attention to the proposed methods led to a negative balance and the aquifer will be in a critical and irreparable situation.


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