American Society of Civil Engineers


Uncertainty in Agricultural Water Demand in the West Bank: Policy Implications for a Developing Economy


by Eric Vaughan, (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University, 200 College Avenue, Medford, Massachusetts 02155. E-mail: vaughaneric@gmail.com), Annette Huber-Lee, (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University, 200 College Avenue, Medford, Massachusetts 02155), Timothy Griffin, (Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, 150 Harrison Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02111), Eric Kemp-Benedict, (Stockholm Environment Institute, 11 Curtis Avenue Somerville, MA 02144), and Richard Vogel, (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University, 200 College Avenue, Medford, Massachusetts 02155)
Section: Planning and Management, pp. 2852-2861, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/41173(414)298)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability
Abstract: Irrigation water use can be significantly affected by crop prices and production costs yet policy makers continue to rely on static analyses that do not properly account for uncertainty in these influences. This is particularly problematic in developing economies which are largely dependent on agriculture but facing severe water constraints. We model irrigation water demand uncertainty in two West Bank agricultural districts by executing a deterministic optimization algorithm (mathematical program) repeatedly using Monte-Carlo simulation. When use is highly constrained as seen in the Jenin district, very different decisions would be made if additional water were available, as illustrated by the water demand curve for the Jericho district. We show how this modeling approach can be used to improve the robustness of policy and infrastructure planning and to explore trade-offs between the resilience and effectiveness of such policies under contrasting demand scenarios.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Uncertainty principles
Agriculture
Water demand
Irrigation
Costs
Crops