An uncertainty-based framework for agricultural water-land resources allocation and risk evaluation Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 Elsevier B.V. Agricultural land and water resources are simultaneously declining due to population growth and economic expansion, which emphasizes the need for optimal allocation of these resources to balance socioeconomic development and water conservation. This study develops a framework for allocation of agricultural land-water resources and risk evaluation under uncertainty. The framework is capable of fully reflecting multiple uncertainties expressed as intervals and probability distributions, considering the connections of agricultural water and land resources. The developed framework will be helpful for managers in gaining insights into the tradeoffs between system benefits and constraint-violation risks, permitting an in-depth analysis of risks of agricultural irrigation water shortage under various violating probabilities. The framework is applied for optimization of agricultural water and land resources in the middle reaches of Heihe River basin. A series of water and land allocation results under different flow levels and violating probabilities were obtained and analyzed in detail through optimally allocating limited water and land resources to different irrigation areas and crops. Comparison with actual conditions shows that both the net benefit per unit water and net benefit per unit land increase which will demonstrate the feasibility and applicability of the developed framework. In addition, probability distributions of water allocation under various flow levels are generated to help decision makers learn detailed water distribution information and thus help make comprehensive irrigation schemes in the planning horizon under uncertainty. Results of evaluation of agricultural irrigation water shortage risks indicate that the water shortage risks in the middle reaches of Heihe River basin are in the category of acceptable risk level or brink risk level. The developed framework can be valuable for providing a reliable decision aid for optimal water and land resources allocation, and can ensure that the management policies and plans are made with reasonable consideration of both system benefits and risks.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Li, M. o., Guo, P., Singh, V. P., & Yang, G.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Li, Mo||Guo, Ping||Singh, Vijay P||Yang, Gaiqiang

publication date

  • November 2016