Role of Heterogeneous Behavioral Factors in an Agent-Based Model of Crop Choice and Groundwater Irrigation

Authored by Yao Hu, Steve Beattie

Date Published: 2019

DOI: 10.1061/(asce)wr.1943-5452.0001033

Sponsors: No sponsors listed

Platforms: Java

Model Documentation: ODD Mathematical description

Model Code URLs: Model code not found


Unsustainable groundwater use has led to the lowering of groundwater levels and the degradation of groundwater-dependent ecosystems worldwide. Integrated hydrologic-ecological-economic models have been developed to simulate and optimize the coupled human and groundwater systems, and address the issue of unsustainable groundwater use. However, a lack of understanding of the heterogeneity of groundwater users undermines the performance of the integrated models. In this paper, an agent-based model is developed using a two-stage optimization strategy with the goal of optimizing the decision making of heterogeneous farmers on crop choice and groundwater irrigation. The performance of the optimization strategy is evaluated under the influence of four behavioral factors. The results illustrate that the optimization strategy can lead to higher crop profits or a slower rate of groundwater depletion in comparison with the observations, but does not necessarily guarantee the optimal solution in balancing these two objectives. In order to achieve sustainable groundwater use, the roles that behavioral factors play in farmers' decision making need to be better understood, and better accounted for in groundwater policy.
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