A multi-attribute preference model for optimal irrigated crop planning under water scarcity conditions

A. Montazar, R. L. Snyder


Water resources sustainability has a key role in the existence and durability of irrigated farming systems and strongly depends on the crop planning. The decision process is complex due to a number of constraints and the desire to secure crop diversification and the involvement of affected various parameters. The objective of the present study was to develop a comprehensive multi-criteria model for selecting adequate cropping pattern in an irrigation district under water scarcity condition. Eleven and nine attribute decisions were considered in ranking the type of crop and determination of the percentage of crop cultivation area as an optimal irrigated crop planning system, respectively. The results indicate that the proposed multi-attribute preference approach can synthesize various sets of criteria in the preference elicitation of the crop type and cultivated area. The predictive validity analysis shows that the preferences acquired by the proposed model are evidently in reasonable accordance with those of the conjunctive water use model. Consequently, the model may be used to aggregate preferences in order to obtain a group decision, improve understanding of the choice problem, accommodate multiple objectives and increase transparency and credibility in decision making by actively involving relevant criteria in the crop planning.


analytical hierarchy process; cropping pattern; Koohdasht irrigation district; multi-criteria approach

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2012103-484-11