Programme  Poster session 1  abstract 432

Areas of use for generic Decision Support Systems for Integrated Water Resources Management

Author(s): Evers Mariele
Associate Professor Mariele Evers, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Institute of Environmental Strategies, Herbert-Meyer-Str. 7, 29556 Suderburg, evers@uni-lueneburg; phone: +49 4131 6779235

Keyword(s): generic DSS, IWRM, management , comprehensive approach, participation

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Session: Poster session 1
AbstractIntroduction: Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) refers to the

coordinated develop-ment and management of water, land and related resources for optimising economic and social

welfare without compromising the sustainability of vital environmental systems. It is obvious that this is a complex

issue where we need new approaches to the assessment, development management, and par-

Objective: To assist processes in IWRM computer based tools as Decision Support Systems (DSS)

can be very helpful. A DSS might be defined as a computer based instrument that can be used to support the

planning, management and/ participation processes. In a DSS a structured approach towards river basin

management is combined with eminent Information Technology, leading to an instrument that facilitates the

processing, the analysis and the presentation of information. A DSS helps the end-user to assess which is the

relevant information in the planning process and shows possible alternatives to meet development objectives. There

is a wide range of different DSS with diverse goals and function-alities. However, many of them are not in practical

use. A generic DSS can be used for many problems and generally also in different river basins. Generic DSS provide

specialized problem-solving exper-tise stored as facts, rules, procedures, or similar to structures in different river

So what kind of DSS with which functionalities is appropriate and necessary for IWRM? There are a

series of requirements for a comprehensive approach which could be assisted by an appropriate DSS.

Beside literature research, a variety of requirement elicitation techniques such as interviews, buzz groups,

questionnaire and a DSS prototype evaluation were employed. Feedback from roughly 200 experts representing

different work fields and river basins in Central and Western Europe was col-lected. Different legal frameworks of

IWRM fields were analysed with a view to determining whether they can be applied in a comprehensive approach.

Results: Broad elicitations affirm that generic DSS can assist in various phases of planning and man-agement

processes. Some general requirements of DSS for IWRM can be identified which should be considered in DSS

development. DSS can be described as socio-technical instruments and “communi-cation vehicles” because of their

multiple roles in participation processes.
Conclusion: However, integration remains a difficult issue. A number of

gaps and barriers still need to be resolved. The presentation will show how this and other requirements and

functionalities might be realised in a DSS for IWRM. Possibilities and restrictions for the use of a generic DSS for a

compre-hensive approach will be described along an adapted framework of the Institute of Electrical and Elec-

tronics Engineers (IEEE) for requirement specifications in software development.

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