Sustainable Water Resources Management

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 1405–1417 | Cite as

Dealing with sustainability in groundwater management using system dynamics approach, a case study in Iran

  • Reihaneh Mahdavinia
  • Alireza MokhtarEmail author
Original Article


Water is deemed as the most critical resource for life on earth. Cognition of its soaring deficit in some regions has driven endeavors to take immediate and effective actions by water management. In arid and semi-arid areas, where rivers are mostly seasonal and access to surface water is limited, groundwater is the major source of freshwater particularly for agricultural irrigation. Meanwhile, dealing with groundwater resources management is intertwined with sustainable development concepts ending up with a complex and interactive socio-economic system. The primary aim of this study is to demonstrate the usefulness of system dynamics as a decision support tool to model and analyze such a system. Taking an agricultural plain in south of Iran as the case study and simulating the proposed model for 50 years, we intend to observe the long-term impacts of 5 policies to improve the sustainable development indicators through remediation of groundwater level in the studied region. The results show that the policy of combination of budget allocation for conservation education and modification in water tariffs might be more effective in improvement of the target indicators.


System dynamics modeling Sustainable development Water resource management Policy making Groundwater management Agriculture 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shiraz University of TechnologyModarres BoulevardIran
  2. 2.Faculty of Industrial EngineeringShiraz University of TechnologyModarres BoulevardIran

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