Abstract for: Groundwater dynamics; a common-pool resources problem

Pistachio producers in Rafsanjan, Iran, have long benefited from low cost and favorable conditions of pistachio production. The expansion of orchards over the past several decades has caused an enormous increase in water consumption. Since groundwater is the primary source of water, the region is facing severe water shortages. We develop a system dynamics model to capture and explore different aspects of the problem, including agricultural, economic, and hydrological perspectives. Water transfer, shrinking lands, irrigation efficiency enhancements, and changes in the water price are different policies that we consider. The results of the model show that water transfer and efficiency enhancement may help in the sort-term, but in the long-run, they are aggravating to groundwater storage. Insights from the model can help policymakers have a better understanding of the unintended consequences of their policies.