Use of Interactive Simulation Environments for the Development of Negotiation Tools

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by Allison M. Keyes, Univ of Washington, Seattle, United States,
Richard N. Palmer, Univ of Washington, Seattle, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions

Abstract: Interactive computer programs have been used successfully for many years to facilitate the planning and operation of water resources. Recently, advances in computer software have made available a number of simulation environments in which detailed models can be quickly created and modified to serve as negotiation tools. These environments allow users to dramatically decrease the effort required to develop simulation and optimization models. This decrease in development time and increase in the potential number of individuals playing a significant role in creating models of water resource systems expands the potential for such models to be successfully incorporated into water resource planning, used by decision makers, and to become valuable planning tools. This paper discusses the potential for simulation models to serve successfully as tools for the negotiation of water resource conflicts. Two simulation environments for personal computers that can be used for this purpose are reviewed. Programming characteristics of these tools are presented and are contrasted with more conventional programming environments. The potential value of such modeling environments in establishing a framework for discussion of technical and political issues in water resources between parties with conflicting interests is discussed. Finally, a case study is presented describing how water supply models are being developed for the Corps of Engineers to facilitate discussions related to drought management.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Computer models | Water shortage | Computer software | Simulation models | Hydrologic models | Decision support systems |

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