Keywords

integrated river basin management, measures, modelling, water quality

Start Date

1-7-2006 12:00 AM

Description

The Decision Support System for the Elbe river basin (Elbe-DSS) was developed as a tool to assist water managers. A user can select various measures and compare them to evaluate their relative effectiveness in achieving a good ecological and chemical status of the Elbe and its tributaries. Two subsystems, the catchment and the river network, represent the whole German Elbe river basin (96.900 km2). This approach allows for better representation of management objectives, scenario development and decision-making. The implemented measures can be classified into the groups: ‘reduction of pollution from urban areas’, ‘modification of agricultural land allocation’, ‘changes in agricultural practices’ and ‘political and legislative requirements concerning nutrient surpluses’. Simulation models for the calculation of nutrient and pollutant loads from point- and non-point sources are integrated under a user-friendly graphical interface. These models may be used to assess the impact of measures such as reforestation, changes of agro-practices or efficiency of wastewater treatment plants on a set of management objectives. External scenarios of climate change, demographic development, and agro-economic projections can be considered simultaneously with specific measures. The user can evaluate pollution of water bodies from single river stretches up to larger watersheds and river basins. Examples of concentration profiles in river waters are displayed as colour coded maps to facilitate the assessment. Tools for economic evaluation of measures are also implemented, providing an avenue to assess cost-effectiveness of management options. We demonstrate the applicability and effectiveness of the Elbe-DSS with selected measures on such diverse topics such as improvement of sewage treatment, erosion control, eco-farming, and reforestation as well as climate change scenario.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Application of the Elbe-DSS to Water Quality Issues

The Decision Support System for the Elbe river basin (Elbe-DSS) was developed as a tool to assist water managers. A user can select various measures and compare them to evaluate their relative effectiveness in achieving a good ecological and chemical status of the Elbe and its tributaries. Two subsystems, the catchment and the river network, represent the whole German Elbe river basin (96.900 km2). This approach allows for better representation of management objectives, scenario development and decision-making. The implemented measures can be classified into the groups: ‘reduction of pollution from urban areas’, ‘modification of agricultural land allocation’, ‘changes in agricultural practices’ and ‘political and legislative requirements concerning nutrient surpluses’. Simulation models for the calculation of nutrient and pollutant loads from point- and non-point sources are integrated under a user-friendly graphical interface. These models may be used to assess the impact of measures such as reforestation, changes of agro-practices or efficiency of wastewater treatment plants on a set of management objectives. External scenarios of climate change, demographic development, and agro-economic projections can be considered simultaneously with specific measures. The user can evaluate pollution of water bodies from single river stretches up to larger watersheds and river basins. Examples of concentration profiles in river waters are displayed as colour coded maps to facilitate the assessment. Tools for economic evaluation of measures are also implemented, providing an avenue to assess cost-effectiveness of management options. We demonstrate the applicability and effectiveness of the Elbe-DSS with selected measures on such diverse topics such as improvement of sewage treatment, erosion control, eco-farming, and reforestation as well as climate change scenario.