Integrated systems modelling of the interaction between water resources and agriculture
Environmental problems associated with the use of water are inherently complex, involving the interaction of several different systems. Further, there is often limited data on the interaction, because of its location between disciplines. In order to study these problems in a quantitative, policy relevant way, a numerical model is required that integrates the different systems and is tailored to contain the processes important to the interaction. A numerical water resource system model is developed to study the problems associated with the interaction between agriculture and water. The model integrates an econometric model of farmer behaviour with a dynamic model of water flow and solute transport. The Argolid valley in Greece represents an area where severe environmental problems have arisen as a result of the overexploitation of groundwater for agriculture. When applied to the Argolid valley the water resource system model reproduces the evolution of the environmental problems that have arisen. It is then demonstrated that the model can be used to investigate some future scenarios and policy options related to the environmental problems that have developed. The main contribution of this research is to demonstrate that a properly designed numerical model that reproduces the dynamic interaction between human behaviour and the physical environment can enable the exploration of the evolution of environmental problems despite a lack of calibration data. Having achieved this the model can then be used in a policy relevant way to investigate the implications from a range of different, possible policy options.