The policy variable is the setting of chloride thresholds for drinking water and for irrigation. We constructed eight different scenarios, with chloride thresholds for drinking water and for irrigation ranging from 50 up to 250 mg/L Cl for drinking water and from 250 to 350 mg/L Cl for wastewater. The water for irrigation may be either freshwater or wastewater, and allocation of the pumped water (aquifer water) may give a priority to urban use or to agricultural use. The specific variables for each scenario are shown in Table 7.6.

The model analyzes these scenarios for a variety of desalination alternatives: brackish groundwater, national carrier water, wastewater, and seawater. The hydrological model produces a forecast of the groundwater chloride concentration over time for each scenario. These results are then used as inputs in the economic model in order to calculate the costs of the alternative policy scenarios. The results can be applied to a variety of other types of policies, for example, we have applied the model to examine the issue of transboundary river management [5].

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