Presenter/Author Information

Anne Gunkel
Ch Külls

Keywords

agent-based modelling, natural resources management, water supply

Start Date

1-7-2006 12:00 AM

Description

While Integrated Natural Resources Management (INRM) creates a need for an integration of natural and socio-economic information, suitable approaches and tools are needed to facilitate this integration. If these tools are meant to support the decision-making process of the stakeholders, it is important that they are adapted to the needs and requirements of these end-users. One way to achieve this is the flexible and seamless direct participation of stakeholders through adequate model structures and interfaces. Participatory methods should facilitate the communication process with different stakeholders and allow for interactions between them. Models for this purpose ideally contribute to the stakeholder’s understanding of the system by representing the natural water resources system in a detailed, distributed, and process-oriented manner and by including the anthropogenic influences in the system. Agent-based models represent a possible approach to INRM fulfilling the specified requirements. Such models facilitate active participation of stakeholders because of their relative descriptive clarity and the straightforward way of interpreting them. In a pilot study on agent-based model application in this context, the decentral water supply system of the municipality of Tauá in the drought-prone Northeast of Brazil has been modelled. The local population is affected by a bad water quality and a comparably simple water supply infrastructure, with distribution networks only in major towns. The research objective of the case study is to represent the decision of the water users for one or several of the available water sources depending on the availability of resources, the water quality, and the background of the water users, e.g., their economical situation. Representing the decision-making process of the agents in such a simple context is investigated in order to explore solutions based on analysing and adapting agent-behaviour, e.g. for creating Decision Support Systems. The model was designed relying on census data on water sources, quality and consumption in different situations of water availability.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Towards agent-based modelling of stakeholder behaviour – a pilot study on drought vulnerability of decentral water supply in NE Brazil

While Integrated Natural Resources Management (INRM) creates a need for an integration of natural and socio-economic information, suitable approaches and tools are needed to facilitate this integration. If these tools are meant to support the decision-making process of the stakeholders, it is important that they are adapted to the needs and requirements of these end-users. One way to achieve this is the flexible and seamless direct participation of stakeholders through adequate model structures and interfaces. Participatory methods should facilitate the communication process with different stakeholders and allow for interactions between them. Models for this purpose ideally contribute to the stakeholder’s understanding of the system by representing the natural water resources system in a detailed, distributed, and process-oriented manner and by including the anthropogenic influences in the system. Agent-based models represent a possible approach to INRM fulfilling the specified requirements. Such models facilitate active participation of stakeholders because of their relative descriptive clarity and the straightforward way of interpreting them. In a pilot study on agent-based model application in this context, the decentral water supply system of the municipality of Tauá in the drought-prone Northeast of Brazil has been modelled. The local population is affected by a bad water quality and a comparably simple water supply infrastructure, with distribution networks only in major towns. The research objective of the case study is to represent the decision of the water users for one or several of the available water sources depending on the availability of resources, the water quality, and the background of the water users, e.g., their economical situation. Representing the decision-making process of the agents in such a simple context is investigated in order to explore solutions based on analysing and adapting agent-behaviour, e.g. for creating Decision Support Systems. The model was designed relying on census data on water sources, quality and consumption in different situations of water availability.