Abstract for: Toward Effective Water Diplomacy by Using System Dynamics: Case Study

Rapid urbanization and climate change along with new defined agricultural and industrial water rights are threatening all water resources including the lakes. When these systems are healthy, they provide valuable ecological and socio-economic benefits to current and future generations. However lakes are now subject to a high risk of drying or getting polluted. Moreover, this situation may have direct health consequences such as raising the risk of asthma and some skin-related diseases. This critical condition requires a robust solution that yet remains uncertain. The goal of this research is to propose sustainable lake management by using system dynamics approach. A simulation model to compare the alternative rehabilitation options is developed focusing on feedback and the externalities of decisions made using the SD approach. The main achievement of this modeling is to help trust building among conflicting stakeholders which is essential for effective water diplomacy framework. Results of the paper indicate that increasing irrigation efficiency by 4% annually will be most effective plan in saving Urmia Lake. Also, Zaab inter-basin water transfer project will have more than 25% contribution in saving the lake. In addition, decreasing 15% of cultivated area in six years is more effective than cloud seeing and Aras water transfer projects.