The Utility of Predictive Hydrologic Modeling for Water Resources Planning and Negotiation
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractHydrologic models enable scientists to predict aquifer responses to proposed anthropogenic activities. Models can inform decision-making, but it can be unclear how the interests of multiple stakeholders can be met while satisfying regulatory requirements, especially when model results include uncertainty. In this study, a town and an agricultural developer represent two hypothetical stakeholders with competing interests and a shared water resource. The agricultural developer proposed further use of water for irrigation; they want to minimize their pumping and water delivery costs. The town wishes to minimize drawdown in their municipal well due to the proposed pumping. This study shows how competing interests can be balanced based on predictive modeling. In the model, a pre-existing pumping well represents past, current, and future pumping to supply the town’s needs. There are three proposed irrigation uses: a well pumping rates at a fixed rate of 3000 m3/day, 4500 m3/day, and 6000 m3/day for 124 acres of wheat, pistachio, or cotton, respectively. Ten locations are considered for the irrigation well. Combining the well location and the pumping rate, a total of 30 designs for the irrigation well were analyzed. However, based on a utility function developed for the agricultural developer, cotton was found to be unprofitable. This left 20 designs for wheat and pistachio; the utility of these designs ranged between zero and 1,124,643 dollars based on a utility curve developed for the agricultural interest. The projected head in the town well varied between 68.5 m to 73.2 m for the proposed added agricultural wells; the projected head in the town well with no added pumping ranges from 73.3 m to 79.4 m. Each design led to multiple possible water levels and associated utility values for each stakeholder because of uncertainty regarding the hydraulic properties. This study examines the ways in which different stakeholders, with different levels of risk tolerance, can make use of hydrologic predictions with uncertainty.
Degree ProgramGraduate College