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The WaterStrategyMan Project
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Analysis Phase Results

The Analysis Phase consisted of four Work Packages:

  1. WP 4, which developed a consistent methodology for shaping and analysing alternative water resources allocation scenarios and water management options in the selected Paradigms. Issues of regional development, socioeconomic and equity, environmental policies and targets and water management requirements have been analyzed.
  2. WP 5 which reviewed, tested and integrated available models and tools for water resources management into a flexible Decision Support Tool.
  3. WP 6, related to the development of a GIS database for the 6 Paradigms, and 
  4. WP 7 aimed at the presentation of the methodology/tools in a workshop and the training on the tools.




A number of methods and models for the quantitative analysis of water resources systems with regard to the selected Paradigms has been reviewed. The methods and models that were reviewed were selected based on their data requirements and complexity, as the Work Package is aimed at selecting models that could be used in the Decision Support System (DSS). On subsystem level those models include models for water availability and demand as well as models for water management. Models for water availability encompass models for groundwater and surface water, as well as marine and coastal waters. Data requirements, prerequisites, approach and output result of each of the models have been analyzed. Emphasis was placed on forecasting water resources components, taking into account the spatial and temporal scale as well as the data availability and different levels of complexity in the case study regions. Appropriate models for managing the resources have been reviewed and evaluated under the same criteria. On the demand side, models and methods for analyzing and forecasting water demand for industry, domestic demand, irrigation water demand as well as environmental demand have been reviewed. Furthermore, models that represent the above mentioned components as well as their interrelations and interactions on a river basin level have been reviewed. These include models for the simulation of river basins and models for the optimization of water allocation and combined models that take into account the economic implications of water use. Based on the critical evaluation of existing methods described above, and taking into account the level of data availability and the complexity of the DSS, a recommendation was made for models that could be implemented.




The GIS Decision Support System developed aims to assess the state of a water resources system in terms of sources, usage, water cycles (pathways) and environmental quality in a simulation environment that responds realistically to external and internal modifications. It has the potential to evaluate the effects of actions and measures taken during the simulation, on the basis of the different scenarios, alternatives and policies (Table 1).

Within the simulation, water resources are allocated according to a set of demand and supply priorities reflecting the pricing system, social preferences, environmental constraints and development priorities. The Decision Support System assesses water systems based on the three principles of Integrated Water Resources Management:

    • Economic efficiency,
    • Equitability, and
    • Environmental sustainability.

Table 1. Summary of DSS capabilities

DSS capabilities

Estimation of water availability

Estimation of the existing and projected water demands
Determination of the necessary interventions, their timeframe and cost
Determination of the optimal water allocation to uses
Ranking of scenarios based on indicators

Estimation of the Rate of Cost Recovery, and of the Direct, Environmental and Resource Costs

There are many ways of classifying implementation approaches or policy options but of special importance for the Decision Support System are the social system responses conceived as comprised of four types of measures:

  1. Supply measures, intended to increase available water quantities during drought.
  2. Measures aimed at decreasing water demands through various conservation techniques and use limitations. 
  3. Measures needed to mitigate impacts. 
  4. Methods able to produce strategies for management through mixes of control measures seeking optimum (efficient and effective) solutions.

The main instruments, also called "Policy Options" for the purposes of the project, used for developing IWRM strategies in the selected Case Studies that are being analysed in their application by the DSS include:

  1. Supply management through structural interventions which attempt to enhance fresh water supply (traditional or pioneering ones such as desalination or water reuse).
  2. Demand management through reduction of losses, diminishing of overconsumption.
  3. Finally, socio-economic instruments such as: Pricing, and Changing of developmental regional priorities.

The DSS can model conditions in a given area/region and be used to estimate how much water is needed to cover the existing and projected demand, to determine what interventions are necessary, as well as when and where, and their cost (Figure 1). It can provide indicators of performance for selected actions under each potential availability and demand scenario, and rank all available scenarios based on these indicators. It provides the user with the ability to assess the functionality and performance of the water system within the entire region of application as well as at individual points of demand/interest. The DSS capabilities however do not extend to the assessment of the performance of the managing authority, or the social impacts of the actions applied. 


Figure 1. The Decision Support System conceptual model



WSM - Developing Strategies for Regulating and Managing Water Resources and Demand in Water Deficient Regions