MOD$$AT: A hydro-economic modeling framework for aquifer management in irrigated agricultural regions

Mani Rouhi Rad, Erin M.K. Haacker, Vaishali Sharda, Soheil Nozari, Zaichen Xiang, A. Araya, Venkatesh Uddameri, Jordan F. Suter, Prasanna Gowda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this paper, we introduce a hydro-economic modeling framework for the management of groundwater resources that are used for irrigated agricultural production. The model, MOD$$AT, can be used to study the costs of aquifer depletion and the net benefits of specific aquifer management policies. MOD$$AT is composed of three components, namely, an economic component, a hydrologic component and an agronomic component. A main goal of this paper is to introduce the hydro-economic model and describe how it can be transferable to different contexts. With this objective in mind, we describe model components step-by-step so that the process of integration can be replicated easily. We then apply the model to study the efficacy of a pumping tax in Finney County, Kansas, USA, which overlies the High Plains Aquifer. The results show that a pumping tax results in an increase in average well capacities in the county over time relative to the status quo, which increases the average profitability of agricultural production. However, the increase in profitability is not uniform across producers and some producers gain more than others under the tax.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106194
JournalAgricultural Water Management
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Groundwater management
  • High plains aquifer
  • Hydro-economic modeling
  • Irrigation
  • Ogallala
  • Policy analysis


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