Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 167, Issue 1–4, pp 527–544 | Cite as

A game theoretic approach for interbasin water resources allocation considering the water quality issues



In this paper, a new game theoretic methodology is developed for interbasin water transfer management with regard to economic, equity, and environmental criteria. The main objective is to supply the competing users in a fair way, while the efficiency and environmental sustainability criteria are satisfied and the utilities of water users are incorporated. Firstly, an optimization model is developed to proportionally allocate water to the competing users in water donor and receiving basins based on their water demands. Secondly, for different coalitions of water users, the water shares of the coalitions are determined using an optimization model with economic objectives regarding the physical and environmental constraints of the system. In order to satisfy water-quality requirements, the impacts of decreasing the instream flow in donor basin are estimated using a water-quality simulation model, and the required treatment levels for effluents discharged into the river, downstream of the water transfer point are determined. Finally, to achieve equity and to provide sufficient incentives for water users to participate in the cooperation, some cooperative game theoretic approaches are utilized for reallocation of net benefits to water users. This model is applied to a large-scale interbasin water allocation problem including two different basins struggling with water scarcity in Iran. The results show that this model can be utilized as an effective tool for optimal interbasin water allocation management involving stakeholders with conflicting objectives subject to physical and environmental constraints.


Game theory Interbasin water resources allocation Water quality Benefit reallocation Optimization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, Graduate Faculty of EnvironmentUniversity of TehranTehranIran

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