Sustainable Management of Water Resources

Sustainable Management of Water Resources

An Integrated Approach

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by Carlo Giupponi, Anthony J. Jakeman, Derek Karssenberg and Matt P. Hare

Experts across a wide range of specialist fields including social sciences, informatics, ecology and hydrology are brought together in this truly multidisciplinary approach to water management. They provide the reader with integrated insights into water resource management practices that underpin the three pillars of sustainable development – environment, economics and society – through a series of international case studies and theoretical frameworks.

Chapter 12: Software and Software Systems: Platforms and Issues for IWRM Problems

Andrea E. Rizzoli and Robert M. Argent

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics, management natural resources, water


Andrea E. Rizzoli and Robert M. Argent 12.1 INTRODUCTION Traditional water resource management has often required the support of software systems for various activities. In these, mathematical models were used to analyse physical processes such as stream-flow routing, rainfallrunoff processes, and crop production simulations. The results of these studies were fed to the decision makers, e.g. the catchment management authority, which decreed and ruled how water should be allocated among users. Analysis of the social and economical impacts of these management decisions was rare, generally only occurring for large-scale projects, such as the building of a new dam, rather than for operational management. Previous chapters have shown how Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) calls for new approaches in modelling: an approach that encompasses integration of models with GIS (Chapter 9), integration between modelling and management through scenarios (Chapter 10), and integration of different forms of knowledge in the modelling process (Chapter 11). The practice of IWRM means that the interrelationships and the interdependencies of the different systems (economic, hydrologic, ecological, social, agricultural) increase and this makes modelling considerably harder than before. Cutting away the unnecessary parts of the model is a wellassessed and useful practice, which helps in managing the complexity of a model. For instance, to compute the runoff flow response in a river section, land use classes can be aggregated to approximate the percentage surface runoff directly contributing to the result. This is possible since the modelling objective is clear, the model is largely mechanistic and it is...

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