Groundwater Allocation Modeling in Water Scarce Area: A Case Study in Syria

A. GUL1 and F. RIDA2
1 Çukurova University, Agricultural Faculty, Department of Agricultural Economics, 01330 Balcah, Adana, Turkey
2 ICARDA, Computer and Biometrics Unit, Aleppo, Syria

Abstract

A. GUL and F. RIDA, 2004. Groundwater allocation modeling in water scarce area: A case study in Syria. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 10: 199–205

Groundwater use in agricultural simulation model was developed based on Stella System Dynamics software and data collected through survey from six villages across the stability rainfall zones in Syria. The model was developed to study the long term effect of groundwater extraction in water scarce areas on cropping patterns, farmer income and the natural resource base. Well monitoring scheme was conducted in these villages to measure the allocation of water to different crops in winter and summer seasons. Total of fifty farmers from these villages were randomly selected to conduct a survey questionnaire to determine crops gross margin, water quantity allocated, prices and wells depths. Different area crop allocation strategies were simulated over 40 years. Different discount rates were used to determine the present value of the gross margin generated from different crop area allocation strategies. Different fuel cost scenarios were also simulated to evaluate the likely effect of the removal of input subsidies on water allocation and farmer income. It was found that cotton contributes to rapid depletion of groundwater aquifer and is not viable option in low rainfall area. Further, wheat and high added value crops such as vegetables are more sustainable options and generate and equivalent present value to high cotton allocation scheme.

Key words: simulation models, system dynamics, groundwater depletion, sustainable options