In this paper, the proposed optimisation model is applied to optimise water
management in the Bembezar system, a small hydrological basin belonging to
the Guadalquivir River basin in southern Spain that supplies water to the
Bembezar River Irrigation District.
In order to apply the model, the irrigation methods and performance in the
irrigation district have been analysed through a set of field irrigation ev
aluations. Cropping patterns, crop productivity and other relevant agronomi
c and economic data have been collected.
The influence of irrigation uniformity and the type of distribution of irri
gation water on the crop yields, as well as the relationship between crop y
ields and irrigation scheduling have been analysed using the proposed model
A deterministic analysis has been carried out in the irrigation district in
order to compare optimum water and cropping patterns management with actua
In order to account for the randomness of both climatic and water availabil
ity variables, a stochastic data generation has been carried out which cons
iders the correlation between these hydrological series. The system is then
analysed in a stochastic environment. Several simulations of the optimisat
ion process have been carried out using generated data on climatic and wate
r availability variables.
The result of this analysis demonstrates that when only the satisfaction of
the internal demands is considered, high quantities of water are allocated
to the irrigation districts resulting in low economic benefits per unit of
water used and lower irrigation efficiency. This situation has been compar
ed with the solution provided by the hypothesis of a proposed water market
in which it is possible to transfer part of the water of the system to othe
r alternative uses at a fixed price. In this second hypothesis, water consu
mption in the irrigation districts was reduced. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B
.V. All rights reserved.