Agent-Based Modelling of a Coupled Water Demand and Supply System

In order to sustain crucial ecosystem services for current and future generations, resources need to be managed sustainably. The resource water is linked to a range of ecosystem services that are central to human well-being, including water supply for domestic, touristic, agricultural and industrial use and the provision of habitats for aquatic organisms. Powerful modelling approaches can improve decision-making processes for sustainable watershed management and support the conservation of essential ecosystem services. Many simulation models for sustainable water management, however, lack explanatory and predictive power because the two-way dynamic feedbacks between human and water systems are neglected.

With Aqua.MORE (Agent based Modelling of REsources; here: of the resource water), we presented an agent-based modelling (ABM) approach where both water fluxes and socio-economic actors are represented by individual agents that mutually interact. We illustrated the modelling process and scenario development by applying Aqua.MORE to an idealized Alpine valley that is characterised by touristic and agricultural water demand sectors. The scenarios represented various decision and behavioural rules of the individual agents and provided unexpected insights into the human-water system dynamics. We thereby corroborated the potential of Aqua.MORE as a decision-support tool for sustainable watershed management.


 

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Figure 1 - Implementation of Aqua.MORE for the idealized case study site with waters (blue circles), managers (green shapes) and users (yellow shapes).

 

Huber L, Bahro N, Leitinger G, Tappeiner U, Strasser U. (2019) Agent-Based Modelling of a Coupled Water Demand and Supply System at the Catchment Scale. Sustainability 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216178

    

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