Decision Support Systems for Water Resource Management

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) structures long-term plans for Europe’s threatened water resources. Owning to the inherent and human-made complexities of the water cycle, stakeholders must move strategically to avoid crisis and restore sustainability. Yet, the reality of water resource management today is falling short on delivery. Stakeholders require strategic tools that will help them to build consensus and take action in the right direction. Using the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD), this study shows how Decision Support Systems can be strategically improved using a whole-systems approach grounded in basic Principles for Sustainability. In this way, stakeholders will be capable of making synchronized moves towards sustainability and thus more likely to realize the WFD’s goal of ‘good status’ for all European waterways by 2015.

Author: Chen Chen, Maura Dilley, Marco Valente

Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology

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1  Introduction
1.1  Nested Systems
1.2  The Water Framework Directive
1.2.1  Rationale Behind the Study
1.3  Decision Support Systems
1.3.1  Wicked Problem
1.4  Synopsis of NetSyMoD
1.4.1  The Six Phases of NetSyMoD
1.5  Basic Principles for Sustainability
1.5.1  Matching the SPs with WFD goals
1.6  Using the SPs to Describe the Current Reality of Water Resources
1.6.1  SP 1: WRM must not contribute to the systematic increase of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust
1.6.2  SP 2: WRM must not contribute to the systematic accumulation of substances foreign to nature
1.6.3  SP 3: WRM must not contribute to the systematic degradation of ecosystems by physical means
1.6.4  SP 4: In WRM, people’s capacity to meet their own needs must not be systematically undermined
1.7  Added Value
1.8  Scope and Limitations
1.9  Research Question
2  Methods
2.1  Qualitative Research Design
2.2  Five Level Framework and FSSD
2.2.1  Backcasting
2.2.2  ABCD Process
2.3  Literature Review
2.4  Defining the ideal DSS with FSSD
2.5  Appeal to Expert Opinions
2.6  Structured Feedback
3  Results
3.1  Outlining characteristics of an ideal Decision-Making Process for Water Resource Management
3.2  Characteristics of the Ideal DSS for the WFD
3.2.1  Level 1 – the System
3.2.2  Level 2 – Success
3.2.3  Level 3 – Strategic Guidelines
3.3  Identifying the Grips and Gaps of the Case Study, NetSyMoD
3.3.1  NetSyMoD’s Grips
3.3.2  Strategic Gaps in NetSyMoD’s Approach to Sustainable
4  Discussion
4.1  Expectations and Surprises
4.2  Strengths and Weaknesses of our Research Methods
4.3  Additional Thoughts on DSS
5  Conclusions and Recommendations
5.1  Summary
5.2  Practical Suggestions
5.3  Suggestions for Future Research
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C

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