Hydro-economic modeling and management with limited data: the case of Lake Karla Basin

Stefanos Xenarios, Aggelos Alamanos, Nikitas Mylopoulos, Per Stalnaacke

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Major hindrances restrain the efficient agricultural water use in South Europe and significantly deteriorate surface and groundwater sources. Several studies are dealing with the optimal allocation of agricultural water use. However, a modular approach is often suggested in which the hydrological, economic and environmental components are separately assessed through individual models and methods. The current study suggests a hydro
-economic approach for optimal basin allocation plans by establishing a holistic modelling approach in a data-scarce area, and proposes
some alternatives based on integrated and sustainable management of water resources. The study area is the lake Karla Basin in Thessaly, central Greece, which is adopted as a representative agricultural basin in South Europe. The main supply source is the overexploited groundwater aquifer, which i
s developed in the wider plain area of Karla. A widely use software (Water Evaluation And Planning –WEAP) was used for the analysis and a simple hydro-economic model was developed. The water supply sources, the existing irrigation networks and pumping wells were simulated including their surface and groundwater use. Then, the basin’s total water demand was simulated, as a summation of the urban, the animal husbandry, the industrial and the agricultural water use. Six different scenarios
composed by various technical and agricultural measures are employed to address more efficient water use and cost -effective management options for sustainable management of Karla basin in the long run. The irrigation cost was evaluated for each scenario, and five climate change scenarios were developed, to examine the effect of the climate on the irrigation cost.
The research leads to many conclusions, hydrological, economical, climatic, and also conclusions about water pricing and a bout the followed policy. The overall aim is to propose alternatives based on integrated and sustainable management of water resources and a new approach in the local agricultural policy, which will manage the water resources in a wider framework. Finally, the study paves the way for further research on the application of optimization techniques in the basin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Water
Issue number54
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Lake Karla basin
  • Hydro-Economic Modelling
  • Integrated Water Resources Management
  • Agro-Economy
  • Management scenarios
  • Climate Scenario analysis
  • WEAP

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