137 results found
<jats:p>Global groundwater assessments rank Iran among countries with the highest groundwater depletion rate using coarse spatial scales that hinder detection of regional imbalances between renewable groundwater supply and human withdrawals. Herein, we use in situ data from 12,230 piezometers, 14,856 observation wells, and groundwater extraction points to provide ground-based evidence about Iran’s widespread groundwater depletion and salinity problems. While the number of groundwater extraction points increased by 84.9% from 546,000 in 2002 to over a million in 2015, the annual groundwater withdrawal decreased by 18% (from 74.6 to 61.3 km<jats:sup>3</jats:sup>/y) primarily due to physical limits to fresh groundwater resources (i.e., depletion and/or salinization). On average, withdrawing 5.4 km<jats:sup>3</jats:sup>/y of nonrenewable water caused groundwater tables to decline 10 to 100 cm/y in different regions, averaging 49 cm/y across the country. This caused elevated annual average electrical conductivity (EC) of groundwater in vast arid/semiarid areas of central and eastern Iran (16 out of 30 subbasins), indicating “very high salinity hazard” for irrigation water. The annual average EC values were generally lower in the wetter northern and western regions, where groundwater EC improvements were detected in rare cases. Our results based on high-resolution groundwater measurements reveal alarming water security threats associated with declining fresh groundwater quantity and quality due to many years of unsustainable use. Our analysis offers insights into the environmental implications and limitations of water-intensive development plans that other water-scarce countries might adopt.</jats:p>
AghaKouchak A, Mirchi A, Madani K, et al., 2021, Anthropogenic Drought: Definition, Challenges, and Opportunities, Reviews of Geophysics, Vol: 59, ISSN: 8755-1209
Madani K, 2021, Have International Sanctions Impacted Iran’s Environment?, World, Vol: 2, Pages: 231-252
<jats:p>Economic sanctions have been actively used against Iran in the last four decades. In response to sanctions, Iran has adopted a range of survivalist policies with notable environmental implications. This study provides the first extensive overview of the unintended environmental impacts of international economic sanctions on Iran. It is argued that while sanctions are certainly not the root cause of Iran’s major environmental problems, they have had an undeniable impact on Iran’s environment by: (1) restricting its access to technology, service, and know-how; (2) blocking international environmental aid; and (3) increasing the natural resource-intensity of its economy. Sanctions have effectively limited Iran’s economic growth and its ability to decouple its economy from natural resources, thereby growing the role of natural resources in Iran’s political economy. Overall, sanctions have made economic production much costlier to its environment, which is not currently considered a priority in the policy agenda of the Iranian leaders who manage the country in survival mode while aggressively pursuing their ideology. The study calls for increased attention to the overlooked environmental impacts of sanctions on Iran with major health, justice, and human rights implications that could be transgenerational and transboundary.</jats:p>
Obringer R, Rachunok B, Maia-Silva D, et al., 2021, The overlooked environmental footprint of increasing Internet use, RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND RECYCLING, Vol: 167, ISSN: 0921-3449
Vahedifard F, Madani K, AghaKouchak A, et al., 2021, Are we ready for more dam removals in the United States?, Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability
Naderi MM, Mirchi A, Bavani ARM, et al., 2021, System dynamics simulation of regional water supply and demand using a food-energy-water nexus approach: Application to Qazvin Plain, Iran., J Environ Manage, Vol: 280
Understanding the complexity and feedbacks among food, energy, and water (FEW) systems is key to making informed decisions about sustainable development. This paper presents qualitative representation and quantitative system dynamics simulation of the water resources system in the Qazvin Plain, Iran, taking into account the energy intensity of water supply and interconnected water use sectors (e.g., urban, industrial, and agricultural). Qazvin Plain faces water resources challenges that are common to arid/semi-arid areas, including frequent droughts, declining surface water and groundwater, and increased urban and agricultural water demand. A system dynamics model is developed using historical data (2006-2016) to investigate the effects of anticipated dynamics of integrated water and energy sectors in the next two decades. The results of policy scenarios (2020-2039) demonstrate that the continuation of the existing management policies will cause severe damage to the water and energy sectors, pushing the system towards water resources limits to growth. An annual groundwater table decline of nearly 1 m is anticipated, indicating significant overshoot of the plain's natural recharge capacity, which may lead to the depletion of recoverable groundwater in the plain within the next three decades. The groundwater table decline will cause energy consumption of water supply to increase by about 32% (i.e., 380 GWh) to maintain irrigated agriculture. It is critical to implement a combination of water demand and supply management policies (e.g., net agricultural water savings and recycling treated wastewater) to delay the problem of water limits to growth in the region.
Modabberi A, Noori R, Madani K, et al., 2020, Caspian Sea is eutrophying: the alarming message of satellite data, ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1748-9326
Madani K, 2020, How International Economic Sanctions Harm the Environment, EARTHS FUTURE, Vol: 8
Tabari H, Madani K, Willems P, 2020, The contribution of anthropogenic influence to more anomalous extreme precipitation in Europe, Environmental Research Letters, Vol: 15, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 1748-9326
Anthropogenic influences can modulate the low‐frequency variability of extreme precipitation and increase the likelihood of flooding events. It is not, however, clear how much and in what manner the low-frequency variability has changed in recent decades as global warming has intensified. Here, we investigate the contribution of anthropogenic influences to the time evolution of extreme precipitation anomalies in different seasons using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) and CMIP5 model simulations and observations over Europe. Our results show a latitudinal dependence of changes in extreme precipitation anomalies for all seasons due to anthropogenic impacts. While the contribution of anthropogenic influences to extreme precipitation anomalies at low latitudes (<50°) is less than 8% in all seasons, it goes up to 26% and 41% at mid (50°–60°) and high (>60°) latitudes. Without the offsetting effect of anthropogenic aerosols, anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases alone should have produced larger anomalies than observed. For all seasons, the more extreme the precipitation, the larger the anthropogenic influences.
The anthropogenic impacts of development and frequent droughts have limited Iran's water availability. This has major implications for Iran's agricultural sector which is responsible for about 90% of water consumption at the national scale. This study investigates if declining water availability impacted agriculture in Iran. Using the Mann-Kendall and Sen's slope estimator methods, we explored the changes in Iran's agricultural production and area during the 1981–2013 period. Despite decreasing water availability during this period, irrigated agricultural production and area continuously increased. This unsustainable agricultural development, which would have been impossible without the overabstraction of surface and ground water resources, has major long-term water, food, environmental, and human security implications for Iran.
Madani K, Shafiee-Jood M, 2020, Socio-Hydrology: A New Understanding to Unite or a New Science to Divide?, WATER, Vol: 12
Brelsford C, Dumas M, Schlager E, et al., 2020, Developing a sustainability science approach for water systems, Ecology and Society: a journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability, Vol: 25, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 1195-5449
We convened a workshop to enable scientists who study water systems from both social science and physical science perspectives to develop a shared language. This shared language is necessary to bridge a divide between these disciplines’ different conceptual frameworks. As a result of this workshop, we argue that we should view socio-hydrological systems as structurally co-constituted of social, engineered, and natural elements and study the “characteristic management challenges” that emerge from this structure and reoccur across time, space, and socioeconomic contexts. This approach is in contrast to theories that view these systems as separately conceptualized natural and social domains connected by bi-directional feedbacks, as is prevalent in much of the water systems research arising from the physical sciences. A focus on emergent characteristic management challenges encourages us to go beyond searching for evidence of feedbacks and instead ask questions such as: What types of innovations have successfully been used to address these challenges? What structural components of the system affect its resilience to hydrological events and through what mechanisms? Are there differences between successful and unsuccessful strategies to solve one of the characteristic management challenges? If so, how are these differences affected by institutional structure and ecological and economic contexts? To answer these questions, social processes must now take center stage in the study and practice of water management. We also argue that water systems are an important class of coupled systems with relevance for sustainability science because they are particularly amenable to the kinds of systematic comparisons that allow knowledge to accumulate. Indeed, the characteristic management challenges we identify are few in number and recur over most of human history and in most geographical locations. This recurrence should allow us to accumulate knowledge to answer th
Mahlooji M, Gaudard L, Ristic B, et al., 2020, The importance of considering resource availability restrictions in energy planning: What is the footprint of electricity generation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)?, SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, Vol: 717, ISSN: 0048-9697
Davtalab R, Mirchi A, Harris RJ, et al., 2020, Sea level rise effect on groundwater rise and stormwater retention pond reliability, Water, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 2073-4441
The coastal areas of Florida, United States, are exposed to increasing risk of flooding due to sea level rise as well as severe hurricanes. Florida regulations suggest constructing stormwater retention ponds as an option to retain excess runoff generated by the increased impervious area and to protect the environment by reducing pollutants from new developments. Groundwater level rise can significantly lower the soil storage capacity and infiltration at retention ponds, in turn, reducing the pond’s capacity to capture consecutive storms due to longer pond volume recovery time. Partial groundwater inundation can affect retention ponds’ ability to decrease peak flow rates and keep the post-development outflow lower than or equal to pre-development conditions. In this paper, the reliability and performance of a retention pond near Tampa Bay, Florida, was evaluated under sea level rise conditions. An integrated surface water and groundwater model was developed, and the groundwater table was projected for future conditions as a function of sea level rise. The results showed that sea level rise could increase the seasonal high water elevation of the retention pond up to 40 cm by mid-21st century. This increase lowered the reliability of the retention pond by about 45%. The pond failed to recover the designed treatment volume within required 72 h because of the high groundwater table, increasing the risk of pollutant discharge. Furthermore, the peak flow and volume of runoff significantly increased under sea level rise and associated groundwater table rise conditions. The study results suggest that it is imperative to consider future sea level rise conditions in stormwater design in low-lying coastal areas of Florida and around the world to prevent poor pond performance and increased risk of flooding in the future.
Kahunzire A, Mahlooji M, Madani K, 2020, Beyond carbon emissions: A system of systems approach to sustainable energy development in East Africa, Food-Energy-Water Nexus Resilience and Sustainable Development: Decision-Making Methods, Planning, and Trade-Off Analysis, Pages: 323-349, ISBN: 9783030400514
East Africa is embarking on an ambitious journey to improve access to energy and support its rapid economic and population growth. Hydropower dominates the region’s electricity sector and the current plans continue to favor this technology for future development. This chapter analyzes the desirability of energy alternatives across East Africa using a System of Systems approach that assesses the performance of technologies across four vital systems namely economy, climate, land, and water. The Relative Aggregate Footprint (RAF) of different energy options in East Africa is measured with respect to the resource availability conditions of the countries in the region. The study results show geothermal and solar to be among the most desirable energy technologies for East Africa, while biomass and oil are the least desirable alternatives. Hydropower is outperformed by fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Its desirability ranges from average to highly undesirable once its impacts on other resources beyond carbon emissions are considered. Comparison of the desirability of alternatives against the planned investments of the region shows serious disparities. This calls for fundamental changes in the development policies in the energy sector of the region if a more sustainable electricity mix is to be achieved.
Farhat RA, Mahlooji M, Gaudard L, et al., 2020, A multi-attribute assessment of electricity supply options in lebanon, Food-Energy-Water Nexus Resilience and Sustainable Development: Decision-Making Methods, Planning, and Trade-Off Analysis, Pages: 1-27, ISBN: 9783030400514
The lack of holistic decision-making assessments has been the main reason behind Lebanon’s persistent energy challenges for a long time. Increasing the capacity of renewable electricity generation as well as conventional power plants running on imported fuels has been proposed to ensure energy security in Lebanon. However, this approach does not necessarily consider Lebanon’s most persistent energy challenges and the potential impacts of selected technologies on Lebanon’s scarce land and water resources. Relying on a System of Systems (SoS) perspective and considering the Climate, Land, Energy, and Water (CLEW) nexus, this study is an effort to help overcome Lebanon’s energy sustainability challenges while reducing impacts on the country’s valuable natural, economic, and social resources. Two parallel but complementary frameworks are used. First, through Resource Efficiency Assessment (REA), the potential impacts of the electricity technologies on the nation’s environmental and economic resources are evaluated. Next, the Sustainability Performance Assessment (SPA) considers a number of criteria relative to the region’s economic, social, environmental, and technical energy challenges. Using the Aggregate Performance Index (API), the relative performance of each energy is calculated based on the results of REA and SPA. Results suggest that offshore wind, solar photovoltaics, natural gas, geothermal, nuclear, and hydropower technologies are the most desirable electricity generation options in Lebanon based on the assumptions and values used in this study.
Mahlooji M, Gumilar FG, Madani K, 2020, Dealing with trade-offs in sustainable energy planning: Insight for indonesia, Food-Energy-Water Nexus Resilience and Sustainable Development: Decision-Making Methods, Planning, and Trade-Off Analysis, Pages: 243-266, ISBN: 9783030400514
To satisfy the energy demand and secure energy independence, Indonesia plans to maintain a large share from its carbon-intensive coal-fired power plants and natural gas, while incorporating some renewable energies in its future emery supply mix. While the promoted targets might be cost-effective, the potential impacts of future energy developments on other sectors such as environment and agriculture (food) must not be overlooked to avoid unintended consequences. This chapter computes the desirability of energy generation alternatives for Indonesia using a stochastic multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) framework. The applied evaluation model considers the trade-offs among independently managed yet inter-linked energy systems and other interacting systems, namely, water, land, climate, and economy. The aggregate desirability of energy alternatives is determined for Indonesia as a whole and individually for its seven main islands. The study indicates nuclear and geothermal to be among the desirable technologies for Indonesia, assuming that they are feasible and can be developed and operated without causing major security risks. Although biomass and hydropower are renewable, they are among the least desirable technologies for Indonesia, given their secondary impacts on other resources. The analysis results portray the need for Indonesia to make fundamental changes in its future energy mix to avoid eventual collapse of its valuable natural system.
Babbar-Sebens M, Root E, Rosenberg DE, et al., 2019, Training Water Resources Systems Engineers to Communicate: Acting on Observations from On-the-Job Practitioners, JOURNAL OF PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE, Vol: 145, ISSN: 1052-3928
Madani K, 2019, The value of extreme events: What doesn't exterminate your water system makes it more resilient, JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY, Vol: 575, Pages: 269-272, ISSN: 0022-1694
Being the second-largest country in the Middle East, Iran has a long history of civilisation during which several dynasties have been overthrown and established and health-related structures have been reorganised. Iran has had the replacement of traditional practices with modern medical treatments, emergence of multiple pioneer scientists and physicians with great contributions to the advancement of science, environmental and ecological changes in addition to large-scale natural disasters, epidemics of multiple communicable diseases, and the shift towards non-communicable diseases in recent decades. Given the lessons learnt from political instabilities in the past centuries and the approaches undertaken to overcome health challenges at the time, Iran has emerged as it is today. Iran is now a country with a population exceeding 80 million, mainly inhabiting urban regions, and has an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, malignancies, mental disorders, substance abuse, and road injuries.
Ristic B, Mahlooji M, Gaudard L, et al., 2019, The relative aggregate footprint of electricity generation technologies in the European Union (EU): A system of systems approach, RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND RECYCLING, Vol: 143, Pages: 282-290, ISSN: 0921-3449
Aljefri YM, Fang L, Hipel KW, et al., 2019, Strategic Analyses of the Hydropolitical Conflicts Surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, GROUP DECISION AND NEGOTIATION, Vol: 28, Pages: 305-340, ISSN: 0926-2644
Gaudard L, Madani K, 2019, Energy storage race: Has the monopoly of pumped-storage in Europe come to an end?, ENERGY POLICY, Vol: 126, Pages: 22-29, ISSN: 0301-4215
Ashraf S, AghaKouchak A, Nazemi A, et al., 2019, Compounding effects of human activities and climatic changes on surface water availability in Iran, CLIMATIC CHANGE, Vol: 152, Pages: 379-391, ISSN: 0165-0009
Ristic B, Madani K, 2019, A Game Theory Warning to Blind Drivers Playing Chicken With Public Goods, WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH, Vol: 55, Pages: 2000-2013, ISSN: 0043-1397
Khazaei B, Khatami S, Alemohammad SH, et al., 2019, Climatic or regionally induced by humans? Tracing hydro-climatic and land-use changes to better understand the Lake Urmia tragedy, JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY, Vol: 569, Pages: 203-217, ISSN: 0022-1694
Mirzaei A, Saghafian B, Mirchi A, et al., 2019, The groundwater-energy-food nexus in Iran's agricultural sector: Implications for water security, Water (Switzerland), Vol: 11
This paper presents the first groundwater-energy-food (GEF) nexus study of Iran's agronomic crops based on national and provincial datasets and firsthand estimates of agricultural groundwater withdrawal. We use agronomic crop production, water withdrawal, and energy consumption data to estimate groundwater withdrawal from electric-powered irrigation wells and examine agronomic productivity in Iran's 31 provinces through the lens of GEF nexus. The ex-post GEF analysis sheds light on some of the root causes of the nation's worsening water shortage problems. Access to highly subsidized water (surface water and groundwater) and energy has been the backbone of agricultural expansion policies in Iran, supporting employment in agrarian communities. Consequently, water use for agronomic crop production has greatly overshot the renewable water supply capacity of the country, making water bankruptcy a serious national security threat. Significant groundwater table decline across the country and increasing energy consumption underscore dysfunctional feedback relations between agricultural water and energy price and groundwater withdrawal in an inefficient agronomic sector. Thus, it is essential to implement holistic policy reforms aimed at reducing agricultural water consumption to alleviate the looming water bankruptcy threats, which can lead to the loss of numerous agricultural jobs in the years to come.
Benini G, Carvalho M, Gaudard L, et al., 2019, Heterogeneous Returns to Scale of Wind Farms in Northern Europe, ENERGY JOURNAL, Vol: 40, Pages: 127-141, ISSN: 0195-6574
Al-Saqlawi J, Madani K, Mac Dowell N, 2018, Techno-economic feasibility of grid-independent residential roof-top solar PV systems in Muscat, Oman, Energy Conversion and Management, Vol: 178, Pages: 322-334, ISSN: 0196-8904
Oman is a country characterised by high solar availability, yet very little electricity is produced using solar energy. As the residential sector is the largest consumer of electricity in Oman, we develop a novel approach, using houses in Muscat as a case study, to assess the potential of implementing roof-top solar PV/battery technologies, that operate without recourse to the electricity grid. Such systems target the complete decarbonisation of electricity demand per household and are defined in this study as grid-independent systems. The approach adopted starts with a technical assessment of grid-independent systems that evaluates the characteristics of the solar panel and the battery facility required to provide grid-independence. This is then compared to a similar grid-connected system and any techno-economic targets necessary to enhance the feasibility of residential roof-top PV systems in Muscat are identified. Such an analysis was achieved through developing a detailed techno-economic mathematical model describing four sub-systems; the solar panel DC source, the grid-independent sub-system, the grid-connected sub-system and the economic sub-system. The model was implemented in gPROMS and uses real hourly weather and climate conditions matched with real demand data, over a simulated period of 20 years. The results indicate that, in the context of the system studied, grid-independent PV systems are not feasible. However, combined with a sufficiently high electricity price, grid-independent systems can become economically feasible only with significant reductions in battery costs (>90% reductions).
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