This study develops and applies the first coupled surface water-groundwater (SW-GW) flow model for the irrigated Miyandoab plain located in the Urmia basin, in the northwest of Iran. The model is implemented using a dynamic coupling between MODFLOW and WEAP and consists of spatially distributed monthly water balances for the aquifer, root-zone, rivers, canals, and reservoirs. Multi-objective calibration of the model using river discharge and GW level data yields accurate simulation of historical conditions, and results in better constrained parameters compared to using either data source alone. Model simulations show that crop water demand cannot be met during droughts due to limited GW pumping capacity, and that increased GW pumping has a relatively strong impact on GW levels due to the small specific yield of the aquifer. The SW-GW model provides a unique tool for exploring management options that sustain agricultural production and downstream flow to the shrinking Urmia Lake.
Bibliographical noteAccepted author manuscript
- Multi-objective calibration
- Soil moisture method
- Surface water-groundwater
- Urmia lake basin