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Synthesis of System Dynamics Tools for Holistic Conceptualization of Water Resources Problems

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  • Ali Mirchi

    ()

  • Kaveh Madani

    ()

  • David Watkins

    ()

  • Sajjad Ahmad

    ()

Abstract

Out-of-context analysis of water resources systems can result in unsustainable management strategies. To address this problem, systems thinking seeks to understand interactions among the subsystems driving a system’s overall behavior. System dynamics, a method for operationalizing systems thinking, facilitates holistic understanding of water resources systems, and strategic decision making. The approach also facilitates participatory modeling, and analysis of the system’s behavioral trends, essential to sustainable management. The field of water resources has not utilized the full capacity of system dynamics in the thinking phase of integrated water resources studies. We advocate that the thinking phase of modeling applications is critically important, and that system dynamics offers unique qualitative tools that improve understanding of complex problems. Thus, this paper describes the utility of system dynamics for holistic water resources planning and management by illustrating the fundamentals of the approach. Using tangible examples, we provide an overview of Causal Loop and Stock and Flow Diagrams, reference modes of dynamic behavior, and system archetypes to demonstrate the use of these qualitative tools for holistic conceptualization of water resources problems. Finally, we present a summary of the potential benefits as well as caveats of qualitative system dynamics for water resources decision making. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Ali Mirchi & Kaveh Madani & David Watkins & Sajjad Ahmad, 2012. "Synthesis of System Dynamics Tools for Holistic Conceptualization of Water Resources Problems," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 26(9), pages 2421-2442, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:waterr:v:26:y:2012:i:9:p:2421-2442
    DOI: 10.1007/s11269-012-0024-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Guangyang Wu & Lanhai Li & Sajjad Ahmad & Xi Chen & Xiangliang Pan, 2013. "A Dynamic Model for Vulnerability Assessment of Regional Water Resources in Arid Areas: A Case Study of Bayingolin, China," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(8), pages 3085-3101, June.
    2. Maryam Ghashghaie & Safar Marofi & Hossein Marofi, 2014. "Using System Dynamics Method to Determine the Effect of Water Demand Priorities on Downstream Flow," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 28(14), pages 5055-5072, November.
    3. Rossella Vito & Alessandro Pagano & Ivan Portoghese & Raffaele Giordano & Michele Vurro & Umberto Fratino, 2019. "Integrated Approach for Supporting Sustainable Water Resources Management of Irrigation Based on the WEFN Framework," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 33(4), pages 1281-1295, March.
    4. Junfeng Yang & Kun Lei & Soonthiam Khu & Wei Meng, 2015. "Assessment of Water Resources Carrying Capacity for Sustainable Development Based on a System Dynamics Model: A Case Study of Tieling City, China," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 29(3), pages 885-899, February.
    5. Jeong, Hanseok & Adamowski, Jan, 2016. "A system dynamics based socio-hydrological model for agricultural wastewater reuse at the watershed scale," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 89-107.
    6. Mehdi Zomorodian & Sai Hin Lai & Mehran Homayounfar & Shaliza Ibrahim & Gareth Pender, 2017. "Development and application of coupled system dynamics and game theory: A dynamic water conflict resolution method," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(12), pages 1-24, December.
    7. Alireza Gohari & Ali Mirchi & Kaveh Madani, 2017. "System Dynamics Evaluation of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Water Resources Management in Central Iran," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 31(5), pages 1413-1434, March.
    8. Kwamina Ewur Banson & Daniel Kwasi Asare & Fidelis Doodaa Dery & Kwadwo Boakye & Akudugu Boniface & Moses Asamoah & Lourees Esi Awotwe, 2020. "Impact of Fall Armyworm on Farmer’s Maize: Systemic Approach," Systemic Practice and Action Research, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 237-264, April.
    9. Kazi Ali Tamaddun & Ajay Kalra & Sajjad Ahmad, 2019. "Spatiotemporal Variation in the Continental US Streamflow in Association with Large-Scale Climate Signals Across Multiple Spectral Bands," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 33(6), pages 1947-1968, April.
    10. Kaveh Madani, 2014. "Water management in Iran: what is causing the looming crisis?," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 4(4), pages 315-328, December.
    11. Walters, Jeffrey P. & Archer, David W. & Sassenrath, Gretchen F. & Hendrickson, John R. & Hanson, Jon D. & Halloran, John M. & Vadas, Peter & Alarcon, Vladimir J., 2016. "Exploring agricultural production systems and their fundamental components with system dynamics modelling," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 333(C), pages 51-65.
    12. Yilin Zhuang & Qiong Zhang, 2015. "Evaluating Municipal Water Management Options with the Incorporation of Water Quality and Energy Consumption," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 29(1), pages 35-61, January.
    13. Zhen-mei Liao & Yang-yang Li & Wen-shu Xiong & Xuan Wang & Dan Liu & Yun-long Zhang & Chun-hui Li, 2020. "An In-Depth Assessment of Water Resource Responses to Regional Development Policies Using Hydrological Variation Analysis and System Dynamics Modeling," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(14), pages 1-18, July.
    14. Huanhuan Qin & Chunmiao Zheng & Xin He & Jens Christian Refsgaard, 2019. "Analysis of Water Management Scenarios Using Coupled Hydrological and System Dynamics Modeling," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 33(14), pages 4849-4863, November.
    15. Langarudi, Saeed P. & Maxwell, Connie M. & Bai, Yining & Hanson, Austin & Fernald, Alexander, 2019. "Does Socioeconomic Feedback Matter for Water Models?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 35-45.
    16. Keivan Karimlou & Nemat Hassani & Abdollah Rashidi Mehrabadi & Mohammad Reza Nazari, 2020. "Developing a Model for Decision-Makers in Dynamic Modeling of Urban Water System Management," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 34(2), pages 481-499, January.
    17. Murat Yalçıntaş & Melih Bulu & Murat Küçükvar & Hamidreza Samadi, 2015. "A Framework for Sustainable Urban Water Management through Demand and Supply Forecasting: The Case of Istanbul," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(8), pages 1-18, August.

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