Carmona García, Gema and Varela Ortega, Consuelo and Bromley, John
Supporting decision making under uncertainty: Development of a participatory integrated model for water management in the middle Guadiana river basin..
"Environmental Modelling & Software", v. 50
Following the Integrated Water Resources Management approach, the European Water Framework Directive demands Member States to develop water management plans at the catchment level. Those plans have to integrate the different interests and must be developed with stakeholder participation. To face these requirements, managers need tools to assess the impacts of possible management alternatives on natural and socio-economic systems. These tools should ideally be able to address the complexity and uncertainties of the water system, while serving as a platform for stakeholder participation. The objective of our research was to develop a participatory integrated assessment model, based on the combination of a crop model, an economic model and a participatory Bayesian network, with an application in the middle Guadiana sub-basin, in Spain. The methodology is intended to capture the complexity of water management problems, incorporating the relevant sectors, as well as the relevant scales involved in water management decision making. The integrated model has allowed us testing different management, market and climate change scenarios and assessing the impacts of such scenarios on the natural system (crops), on the socio-economic system (farms) and on the environment (water resources). Finally, this integrated assessment modelling process has allowed stakeholder participation, complying with the main requirements of current European water laws.