Accessible integration of agriculture, groundwater, and economic models using the Open Modeling Interface (OpenMI): methodology and initial results


Policy for water resources impacts not only hydrological processes, but the closely intertwined economic and social processes dependent on them. Understanding these process interactions across domains is an important step in establishing effective and sustainable policy. Multidisciplinary integrated models can provide insight to inform this understanding, though the extent of software development necessary is often prohibitive, particularly for small teams of researchers. Thus there is a need for practical methods for building interdisciplinary integrated models that do not incur a substantial development effort. In this work we adopt the strategy of linking individual domain models together to build a multidisciplinary integrated model. The software development effort is minimized through the reuse of existing models and existing model-linking tools without requiring any changes to the model source codes, and linking these components through the use of the Open Modeling Interface (OpenMI). This was found to be an effective approach to building an agricultural-groundwater-economic integrated model for studying the effects of water policy in irrigated agricultural systems. The construction of the integrated model provided a means to evaluate the impacts of two alternative water-use policies aimed at reducing irrigated water use to sustainable levels in the semi-arid grasslands overlying the Ogallala Aquifer of the Central US. The results show how both the economic impact in terms of yield and revenue and the environmental impact in terms of groundwater level vary spatially throughout the study region for each policy. Accessible integration strategies are necessary if the practice of interdisciplinary integrated simulation is to become widely adopted.



Land quality, River basin, Water use, Management, Policy