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Scotland's Water Map: Understanding Water Sector Links To Support Decision Making For The Hydro Nation Agenda

World Water Congress 2015 Edinburgh Scotland
14. Valuing water: monetary and non-monetary dimensions
Author(s): Daniel Gilmour
David Blackwood
Ruth Falconer
John Isaacs
Vladeta Stojanovic
Juliette O'Keeffe
Alison Duffy
Jon Rathjen

Daniel Gilmour 1, David Blackwood 1, Ruth Falconer 1, John Isaacs 1, Vladeta Stojanovic 1, Juliette O'Keeffe 1, Alison Duffy 1, Jon Rathjen 2

Abertay University1, Scottish Government2

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 14: Valuing water: monetary and non-monetary dimensions,


INTRODUCTION: The value of Scotland's water and sewerage market is projected to grow to £1.24bn by 2016/17. Developing future opportunities must take place alongside maintaining current service provision; however the demand on water and waste water services is constantly evolving. An integrated approach to water management requires an understanding of complex interactions that exist between key actors in the sector to allow water management strategies to exploit inter-sectorial links. Successful integrated analysis of the water sector in Scotland will support management activities key to responding to the Hydro Nation themes of 1) Governance and international development 2) Environmental protection 3) Economic opportunities 4) Research development. In order to deliver on these objectives an approach is required to illustrate the interconnectedness of stakeholders within the sector. This paper describes a Scottish Government funded project to support the Hydro Nation agenda by developing an overview of Scotland's water sector in the form of an interactive map. The Scottish Water Sector Overview Map will illustrate the scope and scale of the sector and will demonstrate how different parts of the sector link together to address current and future challenges. The map will be used by the Scottish Government and its stakeholders to support decision making and illustrate the management and control aspects of the water sector. 3D computer graphic technologies have been used to deliver clarity and understanding of the data and to ensure the map supports water policy by offering a clear and immediate picture of the scope and scale of the water sector together with the most important sector linkages. METHODOLOGY: The development of the methodology required identification and application of an appropriate range of techniques from the Information and Knowledge Management disciplines combined with the Information Visualisation field to enable the water sector data to be displayed as elements of the map and to display the interconnectivity of the sector. This was combined with data collected through interviews and knowledge mapping activities in a 3D interactive sector map. Previous preliminary research carried identified opportunities for exploiting the benefits of 3D visualisation in order to increase the engagement factor amongst stakeholders that the visualisation presentation will be targeting. Existing examples of 2D visualisation solutions that are related to water industry visualisation were reviewed. Most notable was the "Israel's Water Ecosystems Map" 2010. While this type of flow chart based map is informative, it lacks the necessary interaction and navigation of data that is required to highlight the important connections between all of the involved water industry stakeholders. The focus of the Israeli Water map is more towards grouping all of the stakeholders under specific industry sector labels (e.g. supply and collection, environmental and industry) rather than showing interactions, connections and decision making structures. RESULTS: Many organisations were identified who interact within Scotland's water sector including the Scottish Government and Ministers, the Regulators (WICS, DWQR, SEPA), Scottish Water (core and non-core functions), plus a number of other stakeholders ranging from research institutions to private sector businesses. Although the number of enterprises directly working in the sector is small, there are a number of associated sectors involved in water sector activities such as construction firms, engineers and scientific service providers. Scotland's Universities and Colleges are also involved in the water sector through water research and consultancy activities working in partnership with other Higher Education institutions across Scotland The data utilised for the production of the interactive sector map was derived from semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders across the water sector who were identified in initial interviews with the project steering group. The interviews identified the groups involved in information flows across the sector, and the purpose of the information transfer through Reporting/Managing (R/M), Influence and Information sharing (I) or Control (C) activities. Primary information flows were also scored in importance against the 4 key Hydro Nation agenda themes. The type of information flowing between groups/organisations was recorded for direct connections. These were scored based on the percentage of communication that was related to reporting/managing (R/M), influence and information sharing (I), or control (C). This was considered from the point of view of information flowing "IN" or "TO" the interviewee, and information flowing "OUT" or "FROM" the interviewee. Across the sector, the primary type of information flow (both in and out) is influence/information sharing at 65%, followed by reporting/managing at 25% and control/regulation at 10%. The interviewees scored the importance of each connection to the Hydro Nation themes on a 1-5 Likert Scale of importance with 1 being not important, and 5 being extremely important or essential. The Hydro Nation theme "Economic Opportunities" received the highest average score (2.5), with the other themes falling closely behind. The themes were analysed separately for the connections showing the highest average importance to the theme. CONCLUSION: The research team at Abertay used interactive computer based 3D visualisation approaches developed by the research team and previously applied successfully in a number of water related studies to develop a Scottish Water Sector Overview Map. The future use of the map was considered when developing the water map in particular map design to address the challenge of communicating complex information to different stakeholders in a non-cluttered manner. Utilising animation, navigation and multiple views will enable the desired clarity and levels of detail as more data is added. The interactive visualisation showed the linkages amongst the stakeholders and also details of the nature of the information exchanged through the linkages categorised in terms of the information's purpose and strength of purpose in relation to the Hydro Nation themes driving development of opportunities in Scotland's water sector. 1. Blackwood, D.J., Gilmour, D.J., Kurka, T, Isaacs, J and Falconer R.E. Sustainable Urban Development in Practice: The SAVE Concept. Journal of Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. (In Press) 2. Blackwood, D., Isaacs J., Gilmour, D and Falconer R (2012). Integrating Sustainability in Water Sensitive Urban Design through Dynamic visualisation and Modelling. In Proc. 7th International Conference on Water Sensitive Urban Design, Feb 2012, Melbourne, Australia. 3. IBM Israel’s Water Ecosystems Map (2009-2010) produced by IBM and Amiad Filtration Systems 4. Isaacs, J., R.E. Falconer, D Blackwood, and D Gilmour. (2011). Enhancing urban sustainability using 3D visualisation. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Urban Design and Planning, 164, 163 – 173.

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