Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty Member & Assistant Professor of Economic, Social and Extension Research Department of Qazvin Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Qazvin, Iran

2 Professor of Agricultural Economics and Deputy Director General of Finance and Finance, University of Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences Research Center of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics, University Payam-e- Noor University of Tehran, Iran

5 Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics, Payam-e- Noor University of Tehran, Iran

6 Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics, Payam-e- Noor University, Tehran, Iran


With the widening of the gap in water supply and demand in recent years and the schemes of the Ministry of Energy to restore and balance underground tables, the agricultural sector is projected to be under increasing pressure due to the rationing programs and the allocation of water resources to other sectors with higher economic efficiency in water use. We explored the economic impacts of non-pricing policy of limiting water supply and the policies of water pricing, taxing, and subsidization as per each m3 water use over or below the average gross requirement of the planting pattern on the components of the agricultural sector in Qazvin Province using the data and statistics for the 2013-2014 growing season and the expansion of positive mathematical programming model with the maximum entropy approach. The results showed that the non-pricing policy of 50% limitation of water supply would have the highest economic return per m3 water use. It is estimated to be 0.23$. The highest reduction of chemical fertilizer use would be accomplished in the scenario of 50% limitation of water availability and the integrated scenario of 30% water availability limitation + 50% higher price for water. According to the comparison of employment per unit area vis-à-vis the reference year under different scenarios, the scenario of 50% limitation of water supply (20% increase per ha versus the reference year) would be the best for employment creation followed by the integrated scenario of 30% limitation of water availability. Since the non-pricing policy of limiting water availability would be more effective than the pricing policies in improving water use status and changing planting pattern, it is recommended to apply a combination of these policies in the studied region.

Graphical Abstract

Agricultural Economic and Environmental Impacts of Water Resources Management Scenarios of Agricultural Sector in Qazvin Plain


  • Increasing the economic efficiency of water by applying appropriate management scenarios
  • Reducing environmental impacts by changing crop patterns


Main Subjects

Anonymous (2014). The plan of restoration and balancing underground water tables in Iran. Water and Sewage Company of Ministry of Energy. Tehran, Iran: Office of Water Use and Conservation Systems.
Cortignani, R., & Severini, S. (2009). Modeling farm-level adoption of deficit irrigation using Positive Mathematical Programming. Agricultural Water Management, 96(12), 1785-1791.
Ehsani, M., Dashtii, G., Hayati, B., & Ghahramanzadeh, M. (2011). Water economics value estimation in wheat product in Qazvin Plain irrigaiton network: A dual approach. Agricultural Economics & Development, 25 (2), 237-245. (In Persian)
He, L., Tyner, W. E., Doukkali, R., & Siam, G. (2006). Policy options to improve water allocation efficiency: analysis on Egypt and Morocco. Water International, 31(3), 320-337.
Heckelei, T. (2002). Calibration and estimation of programming models for agricultural supply analysis.  Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms University of Bonn.
Heckelei, T., & Britz, W. (2001). Concept and explorative application of an EU-wide regional agricultural sector model (CAPRI-Project). Agricultural Sector Modelling and Policy Information Systems. Hrsg.: T. Heckelei, HP Witzke, W. Henrichsmeyer. Kiel: Wissenschaftsverlag Vauk, 281-290.
Howitt, R. E. (1995). A calibration method for agricultural economic production models. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 46(2), 147-159.
Howitt, R. E. (2005). Agricultural and environmental policy models: Calibration, estimation and optimization. University of Carlifornia. UCDavis.
Howitt, R. E., Medellín-Azuara, J., MacEwan, D., & Lund, J. R. (2012). Calibrating disaggregate economic models of agricultural production and water management. Environmental Modelling & Software, 38, 244-258.
Huang, Q., Rozelle, S., Howitt, R., Wang, J., & Huang, J. (2006). Irrigation water pricing policy in China. In Selected Paper Prepared for Presentation at the American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting (pp. 23-26).
Mousavi, S., & Banaei, S. (2015). Water resources sustainability and planting pattern as affected by water management policies in Fars Province. Unpublished thesis, Marvdasht Branch of Islamic Azad University,Agricultural Economic Department, Iran. (In Persian)
Mozaffari, M., Parhizkari, A., Hoseini Khodadadi, M., & Parhizkari, R. (2015). Economic analysis of the effects of climate change induced by greenhouse gas emissions on agricultural productions and available water resources (Case study: Down lands of the Taleghan Dam). Agricultural Economics & Development, 29 (1), 68-85. (In Persian with English Abstract)
Mirzaei Khalil ,H.,  Esfandiari ,M.,  Shahraki, J. and Yaghoubi,M., (2015). Assessment of Water Use Efficiency Indices in Selected Plains of Fars Province, Iran. International Journal of Agricultural Management and Development, 6(2),155-162.
Nabizadeh Zolpirani, M., Amirnejad, H. and Shahnazari, A. (2017). Estimating the Cost of Water and the Economic Value of Water in the Farmlands Covered by Man-Made Ponds: A Case Study of the Alborz Project Area in Iran. International Journal of Agricultural Management and Development, 8(1), 35-46.
Nasseri, M., Taghavi, F., & Zahraie, B. (2012). Investigation of spatiotemporal behavior of annual precipitation based on EOF and fuzzy EOF: Ghazvin Province area. Journal of the Earth and Space Physics, 37 (3), 191-203. (In Persian with English Abstract)
Paris, Q., & Howitt, R. E. (1998). An analysis of ill-posed production problems using maximum entropy. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 80(1), 124-138.
Parhizkari, A., & Sabohi, M. (2014). Simulation farmers' response to reducing available water policy. Journal of Water and Irrigation Management, 3 (2), 59-74.
Parhizkari, A., & Mozafari, M. (2015). Utilization management and optimal allocation of water resources to determine the agro-economic program of optimum cropping pattern in Roudbar Alamut Region. Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources Research, 4 (18), 29-40.
Parhizkari, A. (2013). Determination of irrigation water economic value and farmers' response to pricing and non-pricing policies in Qazvin Province (M.Sc. Thesis). Zabol, Iran: Faculty of Agriculture, Zabol University. (In Persian)
Salman, A. Z., & Al-Karablieh, E. (2004). Measuring the willingness of farmers to pay for groundwater in the highland areas of Jordan. Agricultural Water Management, 68(1), 61-76.
Shirmahi, S., Peykani, G., Mortazavi, A., & Zamani, O. (2014). Evaluating the effect of removing of chemical fertilizers subsidy on the cropping pattern in Rey County. Journal of Agricultural Economics Research, 6 (21), 155-176. (In Persian)
Zamanian, Gh., Jafari, M., & Kalaei, A. (2015). The effect of environmental stress and increasing prices of agricultural inputs on crop pattern of Khomein Plain. Agricultural Economics and Development, 22 (87), 89-110. (In Persian with English Abstract)
Zamanian Gh. , Jafari, M. & Saeedian, SH., (2013). The Economic and Welfare Effects of Different irrigation Water Pricing Methods, Case Study of Khomein Plain in Markazi Province of Iran. International Journal of Agricultural Management and Development, 3(4):269-280.