Modelling with stakeholders: a systems approach for improved environmental decision making under great uncertainty
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In this paper an integrated participatory modelling approach is introduced for managing complex water resource systems under great uncertainty due to climatic and non-climatic factors. A number of case studies are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the methodology. The approach includes a range of stakeholders’ engagement activities throughout the modelling process. The first step consists of participatory problem scoping and model conceptualisation, where the modellers work closely with the stakeholders to establish the scope of the work, identify the key variables, determine the system boundaries, and develop an initial conceptual model. Secondly, a structural analysis technique is used to understand the interactions between the systems variables. Next, the conceptual model is transformed within either a Bayesian Network (BN) and/or Systems Dynamics (SD) model. BNs can deal with uncertainty, missing and interdisciplinary data by integrating experts’ opinions and process-based models outputs, while SDs allow for temporal analyses, including feedback loops. Because of the complementary perspectives they offer, we also propose a method to integrate the two models in this paper to develop a more robust decision support tool. Experts and stakeholders are also involved during the BN/SD model development through data elicitation, and at the end of the modelling exercise for final model revision and testing. The final product is a participatory, multidisciplinary decision support system (DSS), deployed by the same stakeholders who helped develop it, which allows for a robust water resources management decision-making under uncertain conditions.
Proceedings of the 8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Supporting Sustainable Futures
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Water Resources Engineering