Abstract for:Sustaining Groundwater Irrigation in Mardin K?z?ltepe Plains of South East Turkey

Groundwater is a common pool resource, which creates particular governance and policy challenges, requiring coordination and cooperation amongst its beneficiaries. This study examines the groundwater use and the implications of alternative policies in the K?z?ltepe plains of southeast Turkey. Past trends in K?z?ltepe show that, while the irrigated lands, well numbers and well depths in the region have been dramatically increasing, the institutions and norms for water regulation are still absent.  A dynamic simulation model is developed to unravel the dynamic complexity of the coupled hydro-geological and farm-economic systems of K?z?ltepe to explore high leverage policies that can restrain both the expansion in groundwater based irrigation development and water use at the farm level, while not impairing farmers' profits. Preliminary runs demonstrated that, incentives for less water consumptive crops and water saving irrigation technologies can reduce groundwater use per land but the overall consumption may rebound with more lands being transformed for irrigation. Although unpopular on the farmers's side, effective water pricing is suggested as a cure. If effectively disseminated, complex feedback modeling and systems based learning can help increasing the acceptability of such relatively controversial solutions to the problem of unsustainable groundwater use.