Managing Scarce water resources for socially acceptable solutions, through hydrological and econometric modeling.

Angelos Alamanos1, Qingming Zeng2

1Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies, The Water Forum. Dundalk Institute of Technology, Marshes  Upper, Dundalk Co.Louth, A91K584, Ireland.

2College of Public Administration, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing Jiangsu, 210095, China

*Corresponding author email:

Qingming Zeng:

Research article


 Covering increasing water demand for competitive uses with limited resources is becoming one of the most challenging water management issues. The effects are more evident in arid areas, where conflicts are more likely to occur. Such an example is Urumqi County, China; Urumqi River is the main water supply source, and in order to balance the upstream agricultural water demand and the downstream urban water demand, the government imposed fallow measures. The region is traditionally a rural area with high production expectations, however, urban water demand is continuously increasing over the last decades, following the population and urbanization trends. Irrigation needs are covered from the river, during the summer period, creating seasonal demand peaks. The fallow measures aim to sustain agriculture and the government defines which farmers will fallow each year. This study uses a questionnaire survey to examine the farmers’ willingness to continue fallow, and the fallow period preference; both examined for the first time so far. The driving factors are used as variables to analyze and describe the preferences through regression models. A non-negligible portion of farmers highly depend on agriculture and want to cultivate. The feasibility of satisfying their needs through better water management is examined through a coupled WEAP (Water Evaluation And Planning) model. Combining econometric and hydrological tools is a novel element. The results are encouraging, with significant insights on the current water management policy, the potential of diversified fallow systems, and the achievement of sustainable and socially acceptable planning.

Download the article (eng)

For citation: Alamanos, A., & Zeng, Q. (2021). Managing Scarce water resources for socially acceptable solutions , through hydrological and econometric modeling. Central Asian Journal of Water Research 7, 84–101.


Alamanos, A., Latinopoulos, D., Loukas, A., & Mylopoulos, N. (2020). Comparing Two Hydro-Economic Approaches for Multi-Objective Agricultural Water Resources Planning. Water Resources Management, 34(14), 4511–4526.

Alamanos, A., Latinopoulos, D., Papaioannou, G., & Mylopoulos, N. (2019). Integrated Hydro-Economic Modeling for Sustainable Water Resources Management in Data-Scarce Areas: The Case of Lake Karla Watershed in Greece. Water Resources Management, 33(8), 2775–2790.

Alamanos, A., Xenarios, S., Mylopoulos, N., & Stålnacke, P. (2016). Hydro-economic modeling and management with limited data: The case of Lake Karla Basin, Greece. 14.

Blaney, H.F., & Criddle, W.D. (1962). Determining consumptive use and irrigation water requirements. USDA Technical Bulletin, 1275.

Chen, Y., Zhang, Q., Liu, W., & Yu, Z. (2017). Analyzing Farmers’ Perceptions of Ecosystem Services and PES Schemes within Agricultural Landscapes in Mengyin County, China: Transforming Trade-Offs into Synergies. Sustainability, 9(8), 1459.

Deng, M., Zhang, H., Mao, W., & Wang, Y. (2011). Public Perceptions of Cryosphere Change and the Selection of Adaptation Measures in the Ürümqi River Basin. Advances in Climate Change Research, 2(3), 149–158.

Du, T., Kang, S., Zhang, X., & Zhang, J. (2014). China’s food security is threatened by the unsustainable use of water resources in North and Northwest China. Food and Energy Security, 3(1), 7–18.

Fu, B.H., Guo, Q., Yan, F., Zhang, J., Shi, P.L., Ayinuer, M., & Xue, G.L. (2017). Glacier retreat of the Tian Shan and its impact on the urban growth and environment evaluated from satellite remote sensing data. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 74, 012022.

Haan, P., & Uhlendorff, A. (2006). Estimation of Multinomial Logit Models with Unobserved Heterogeneity using Maximum Simulated Likelihood. The Stata Journal: Promoting Communications on Statistics and Stata, 6(2), 229–245.

Lei, M.,Zhou, J. L.,Wei, X.,Zhang, J., Fan,W. (2020). Assessment of Comprehensive Control of Groundwater Over-exploitation Areas of Oasis City in Arid. Yellow River, 1–6.

Li, X. (2003). Pressure of water shortage on agriculture in arid region of China. Chinese Geographical Science, 13(2), 124–129.

Li, Y., Wang, H., Chen,Y., Deng, M., Li,Q., Wufu,A., Wang,D., & Ma,L. (2020). Estimation of regional irrigation water requirements and water balance in Xinjiang, China during 1995–2017. PeerJ, 8, e8243.

MacEwan, D., Cayar, M., Taghavi, A., Mitchell, D., Hatchett, S., & Howitt, R. (2017). Hydroeconomic modeling of sustainable groundwater management: SUSTAINABLE GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT. Water Resources Research, 53(3), 2384–2403.

Martey, E.,Etwire, P.M., Wiredu, A.N., & Dogbe, W. (2014). Factors influencing willingness to participate in multi-stakeholder platform by smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana: Implication for research and development. Agricultural and Food Economics, 2(1), 11.

Niyazmetov, D., Soliev, I., & Rudenko, I. (2019). State-facilitated bottom up in agricultural water governance and sustainability of solutions to recurring water stress: a case study from smallholders’ perspective in Uzbekistan. Central Asian Journal of Water Research, 5(1), 42–57.

Ojo, M.A., Nmadu, J.N., Tanko,L., & Olaleye, R.S. (2013). Multinomial Logit Analysis of Factors Affecting the Choice of Enterprise Among Small-holder Yam and Cassava Farmers in Niger State, Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 4(1), 7–12.

Paisley, R. K. (2018). International watercourses, international water law and Central Asia. Central Asian Journal of Water Research, 4(2), 1–26.

Peña-Haro, S., Pulido-Velazquez, M., & Sahuquillo, A. (2009). A hydro-economic modelling framework for optimal management of groundwater nitrate pollution from agriculture. Journal of Hydrology, 373(1–2), 193–203.

Ramachandran, V. (2017). Redefining China’s Xinjiang policy: Rhetoric or reality? International Area Studies Review, 20(3), 273–290.

Sehring,J.(2015). Bridging gaps and connecting experts: the linkages of water, scientific collaboration and regional security. Central Asian Journal of Water Research, 1(0), 21–26, 2015.

Statistics Bureau of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook 2018(

Statistics Bureau of Urumqi County. Urumqi County Statistical Yearbook 2012-2016 ( (2015).Stata:Release 14. Statistical Software.College Station, TX: StataCorp LLC.

Thevs, N., Rouzi, A., Aliev, K., & Abudushalike, N. (2017). Evapotranspiration of riparian ecosystems and irrigated cotton agriculture at the middle reaches of the Tarim River, Xinjiang, China. Central Asian Journal of Water Research, 3(4), 1–15.

Wang, X., Zhang, Y., Luo, Y., Sun, L., & Shafeeque, M. (2018). Combined use of volume-area and volume-length scaling relationships in glacio-hydrological simulation. Hydrology Research, 49(6), 1753–1772.

Xie, H., Cheng, L., & Lv,T. (2017). Factors Influencing Farmer Willingness to Fallow Winter Wheat and Ecological Compensation Standards in a Groundwater Funnel Area in Hengshui, Hebei Province, China. Sustainability, 9(5), 839.

Yang QY,, Chen ZT., Xin GX(2018). The Historical Evolution of Chinese Cultivation System and Some Thoughts on the Current Land Fallow and Crop Rotation Policy. West Forum:1-8.

Yang, Q., Yang, R., Wang, Y., & Shi, K. (2019). Does Fallowing Cultivated Land Threaten Food Security? Empirical Evidence from Chinese Pilot Provinces. Sustainability, 11(10), 2836.

Ye, Z., Liu, H., Chen, Y., Shu, S., Wu, Q., & Wang, S. (2017). Analysis of water level variation of lakes and reservoirs in Xinjiang, China using ICESat laser altimetry data (2003–2009). PLOS ONE, 12(9), e0183800.

Zhang, Y., Luo, Y., & Sun, L. (2016). Quantifying future changes in glacier melt and river runoff in the headwaters of the Urumqi River, China. Environmental Earth Sciences, 75(9), 770.

Zhang, C., Zhao, M.J., Yao, L.Y., Yan,Y. (2017). Research on Difference of Willingness to Pay for Land Conservation Plan Between Urban and Rural Resident. Journal of Northwest A&F University (Social Science Edition), 17(5): 90-97.

Zeng, L., Yang, Q. Y., Liao, J. R., Chen, Z. T., Chen, Y. D., Yang, R. H.(2018). Fallow compensation based on farmer willingness to accept in Hebei. Resources Science, 40(7), 1375–1386.

econometrics, hydrology, Urumqi River Basin, water scarcity conflicts, willingness to fallow