Improving the Performance of Agricultural Water Distribution Systems in Irrigation Networks Using Water-Food-Energy Nexus

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student in Water Resources Engineering, Department of Water Engineering, College of Aburaihan, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Water Engineering, College of Aburaihan, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Improving the performance of water distribution systems in the agricultural sector is essential to increase arable crops production by considering surface water volume and energy consumption. Therefore, the main objective of the current research is to evaluate performance of practical alternatives in modernization projects in order to improve the performance of surface water distribution systems and to quantitatively evaluate their performance based on the water-food-energy nexus. The current operational management of the Rudasht Irrigation Network located in Isfahan, was simulated under normal and water shortage scenarios. Then the impact of two modernization methods including an improved manual operation and an automatic control system by using the Model Predictive Control (MPC) on the improvement of surface water distribution was investigated. In order to investigate the operational methods, eight indicators of surface water delivery, energy consumption, surface water productivity, food productivity, energy productivity, surface water economic productivity, energy economic productivity and food economic productivity were used. In the current status (Manual Method) under normal and water shortage scenarios, the values of water-food-energy nexus index were estimated 0.41 and 0.07, respectively. By improving the operational method to improved manual operation method, under normal and water shortage scenarios, the values of water-food-energy nexus index were estimated 0.46 and 0.09, respectively. The results of MPC method showed that this method has the best performance with 0.94 and 0.38 in normal and water shortage scenarios, respectively. The proposed evaluation approach can be used as an appropriate evaluation method to evaluate and prioritize modernization options of agricultural water distribution systems.


Main Subjects

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