Sub-Project 8



GIS-based Decision Support System to analyze water quantity and quality in the river network

W. Lahmer, PIK Potsdam

Water resource management goals can be realized by various approaches, which may differ considerably from each other. Due to the complexity of possible management solutions, policy makers are therefore not able to decide easily between different proposals or scenarios. Thus, one of the basic aims of the research project is the development of new concepts in river and water management to be applied in the Havel river basin. 

A central part of this concept is a user-friendly decision-support system (DSS) for sustainable river basin management. It will enable decision makers and water authorities to evaluate alternative management options and their influence on water quantity and quality. The DSS includes a variety of approaches to address practical water problems and to define and realize management scenarios and is supposed to represent a considerable part of the sustainable water resources assessment and management planning. 

The application of the DSS is based on the comparison of results derived for the actual state of the basin and the potential scenario states resulting from changed management options, followed by a visualization and analysis of the differences. The tool integrates the results of various dynamic model applications as well as relevant additional information, which are analysed by suitable evaluation algorithms. By this ‘integrator’ function of results from several sub-projects it helps to clarify the question, why certain management options or strategies are recommended and others are not, taking into account the needs of various water users, the goals of the regional water planning and exploitation, and the agricultural landuse. 

The results of the evaluation tool represent the input to multi-criterial (ranking) and cost-benefit analyses, which result in practically relevant conclusions of a future water resource management policy at the regional level.As an instrument to assess the effects of manmade changes on hydrology and water resources the DSS stands at the interface of scientific research, practical application, and policy and forms the basis for an effective and comprehensive management of theses resources. In addition, as a planning tool for the ecologically sound operation of the Havel basin, it reflects the practical orientation of the whole project and guarantees a long-term use of all project results, even under changed natural and socio-economic constraints in the future.


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