A comprehensive optimum integrated water resources management approach at a river basin level, application at Diylala river basin in Iraq

  • Jafar Al-Jawad

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) was broadly adopted, however nature's complexity, multidisciplinary stakeholders' demands, legislation policy, etc. restrained the success of holistic integration. Recently, Multi-Objectives Evolutionary Algorithms (MOEAs) were presented as a powerful decision making tool to generate a trade-off (or Pareto-front) for complex problems. Even so, problematics may develop in MOEAs for high-dimension problems. Thus, a new MOEA is developed and employed with a novel optimum comprehensive IWRM(OP-IWRM) approach to assemble: water demands, water resources and water control infrastructures for decision making trade-off production. To evaluate the approach pragmatically, Diyala River basin is selected, which has an area about 17000 km2 in central Iraq and two multipurpose dams: Derbendikhan in the north, and Himren in the middle part of the basin. A new methodology of "Epsilon-Dominance-Driven Self-Adaptive Evolutionary Algorithm for Many-Objective Optimization" (є-DSEA) to address MOEAs' dilemmas is first presented. Three operational management targets are modelled for Derbendikhan dam for initial algorithm's performance assessment incomparison with the state-of-the-art optimization algorithm Borg MOEA.Competitive results achieved by є-DSEA for the considered problem. Then, long-term ground water exploitation in the middle part of the basin is modelled by three operational management targets with two alternatives of irrigation system, open furrows and drip. The results show sustainable management could be achieved when farms' water demands are reduced by at least 45%. Further, є-DSEA outperforms Borg MOEA an almost all proposed alternatives. A novel socio-environmental management approach is then developed to improve Himren downstream river environment. Nine multi-sectors' operational targets subjected to two inflows alternatives are formulated. An improvement is evident in downstream river environment, however dam's upstream shed needs to be integrated with the model, including groundwater. The є-DSEA competitive performance is also endorsed. Finally, a holistic approach including seventeen management targets combining surface and groundwater basin system with more than 1500 decision variables is developed to assess future climate's change, and water monopolizing in upstream region impacts at the river basin environment. The results demonstrate significant crises of upstream development projects on all river basin sectors and environment, even with the use of both surface and groundwater resources. Thus, the government needs to adopt future policy: to set an international agreement for watersharing with Iran for the current River basin, to adopt new irrigation techniques for the existing farms, and to rehabilitate the current water conveyance infrastructures to reduce water losses. This approach could be a gateway to develop a comprehensive sustainable development plan at a country-scale to improve the 17th goals announced by the United Nations, since only limited approaches were developed previously.
Date of Award20 Nov 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorRobert Kalin (Supervisor) & Girma Zawdie (Supervisor)

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