Coupling Agent-Based and Groundwater Modeling to Explore Demand Management Strategies for Shared Resources
Thursday, 17 December 2015: 14:25
3011 (Moscone West)
Municipal water demands in growing population centers in the arid southwest US are typically met through increased groundwater withdrawals. Hydro-climatic uncertainties attributed to climate change and land use conversions may also alter demands and impact the replenishment of groundwater supply. Groundwater aquifers are not necessarily confined within municipal and management boundaries, and multiple diverse agencies may manage a shared resource in a decentralized approach, based on individual concerns and resources. The interactions among water managers, consumers, and the environment influence the performance of local management strategies and regional groundwater resources. This research couples an agent-based modeling (ABM) framework and a groundwater model to analyze the effects of different management approaches on shared groundwater resources. The ABM captures the dynamic interactions between household-level consumers and policy makers to simulate water demands under climate change and population growth uncertainties. The groundwater model is used to analyze the relative effects of management approaches on reducing demands and replenishing groundwater resources. The framework is applied for municipalities located in the Verde River Basin, Arizona that withdraw groundwater from the Verde Formation-Basin Fill-Carbonate aquifer system. Insights gained through this simulation study can be used to guide groundwater policy-making under changing hydro-climatic scenarios for a long-term planning horizon.