Topic of the practice
Decision Support System (DSS) for Integrated Management of Complex Water Resource Systems Including Conjunctive Use of Surface and Ground Waters, in a context of water scarcity
Good Practice Information
The rational utilization of the water demands an efficient, integrated and sustainable management of the resource. The systems and the necessary solutions to relieve the existing problems in them are increasingly complex. In consequence, the utilization of adaptation tools is needed that are technologically advanced for the analysis of the systems of integrated form. They shoould also consider uncertainties related to use, demand, or resources, as well as new uncertainties, such as those climate change impacts expected in the Valencian Region (higher temperature, lower rainfall, lower water availability; increment of extreme phenomena: droughts and floods; erosion and desertification; decrease of hydropower production; saline intrusion; and loss of water quality). For this reason, the Water Resources Engineering Area of the Institute for Water Engineering and Environment (IIAMA-UPV) has developed the AQUATOOL decision support system.
AQUATOOL is a Decision Support Systems for river basins (or any other water resource system) planning and management. It provides to the user different interfaces which facilitate the design of models or graphic and mathematical schemes that represent water flowing in a river basin from the point of view of each of the analysed problems. The developed schemes can be called “Decision Support Systems” because they facilitate the analysis of many problems related to hydrological planning. To comply with these functions, a DSS incorporates multiple tools or computer programs designed to analyse diverse problems related to hydrologic planning. The AQUATOOL is useful to better adapt to the impact of climate change on water resources in the Valencian Region by downscaling of global circulation models; evaluating of surface and ground water availability; planning and managing of complex water resources systems; and modelling of water quantity and quality.
Evidence of success
The AQUATOOL has been used for managing several complex water resource systems in the Valencia Region. This kind of programmes can provide a first low-cost approach for improving the adaptation to the effects of climate change. It has not only been tested at Mediterranean basins in the Valencia Region, like Xúquer and Segura, but also at the Tajo basin (Atlantic), as well as in other countries like Argentina, Brazil and Italy. This ensures the robustness of the system and its flexibility to adapt to a great variety of conditions. As the space configuration of a water resource system can be modified, the AQUATOOL may be transferred to other regions if geo-referenced data bases containing physical characteristics and management characteristics are available, or at least editable.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Mr. José E. Capilla
Institute for Water Engineering and Environment - Polytechnic University of Valencia
Annex completed on: 05-07-2011