Spatial Optimization Models for Water Supply Allocation

Alan T. Murray, Patricia Gober, Luc Anselin, Sergio J. Rey, David Sampson, Paul D. Padegimas, Yin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Climate change is likely to result in increased aridity, lower runoff, and declining water supplies for the cities of the Southwestern United States, including Phoenix. The situation in Phoenix is particularly complicated by the large number of water providers, each with its own supply portfolio, demand conditions, and conservation strategies. This paper details spatial optimization models to support water supply allocation between service provider districts, where some districts experience deficits and others experience surpluses in certain years. The approach seeks to reconcile and integrate projections derived from a complex simulation model taking into account current and future climate conditions. The formulated and applied models are designed to help better understand the expected increasingly complex interactions of providers under conditions of climate change. Preliminary results show cooperative agreements would reduce spot shortages that would occur even without climate change. In addition, they would substantially reduce deficits if climate change were to moderately reduce river flows in Phoenix's major source regions, but have little effect under the most pessimistic scenarios because there are few surpluses available for re-allocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2243-2257
Number of pages15
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Climate change
  • Multi-agency planning and coordination
  • Spatial optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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