Virtues of simple hydro-economic optimization: Baja California, Mexico.

TitleVirtues of simple hydro-economic optimization: Baja California, Mexico.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMedellín-Azuara, J., Mendoza-Espinosa L., Lund J. R., Harou J. J., & Howitt R.
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Start Page3470
AbstractThis paper uses simple hydro-economic optimization to investigate a wide range of regional water system management options for northern Baja California, Mexico. Hydro-economic optimization models, even with parsimonious model formulations, enable investigation of promising water management portfolios for supplying water to agricultural, environmental and urban users. CALVIN, a generalized hydro-economic model, is used in a case study of Baja California. This drought-prone region faces significant challenges to supply water to agriculture and its fast growing border cities. Water management portfolios include water markets, wastewater reuse, seawater desalination and infrastructure expansions. Water markets provide the flexibility to meet future urban demands; however conveyance capacity limits their use. Wastewater reuse and conveyance expansions are economically promising. At current costs desalination is currently uneconomical for Baja California compared to other alternatives. Even simple hydro-economic models suggest ways to increase efficiency of water management in water scarce areas, and provide an economic basis for evaluating long-term water management solutions.