iWaGSS

iWaGSS: Integrated Water Governance Support System

Summary

The core objective of the iWaGSS project is to develop and test an innovative water governance system based on new technologies and tools for easing water stress and sustainably managing water resources. To achieve this, iWaGSS is developing a computer-aided real-time water management system that will primarily support regional decision-makers. The system is due to be tested and demonstrated in a pilot region in South Africa. In terms of methods, iWaGSS will use an innovative combination of risk analysis, new technologies for monitoring water quality in real time, solution-oriented software systems based on hydrological and hydraulic models, and sound socioeconomic analyses.
Priorities
  • Develop a risk-assessment model for prioritising measures
  • Develop an innovative real-time monitoring network for tracking water quality
  • Produce hydrological models to simulate runoff
  • Develop a user-friendly decision-support system
  • Conduct socioeconomic studies and produce environmentally sustainable recommendations for action to support operational management and governance bodies
  • Develop a system of socioeconomic indicators to monitor and assess the degree to which the aim of sustainably using and managing water resources has been achieved

Relevance

Over the past few decades, water management has undergone a major paradigm shift. In particular, the concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM) has become a prominent guiding principle in water research and practice. A major criticism levelled at the IWRM concept, however, is the continuing difficulty of transferring the theoretical overall concept into methods that can be applied in practice. At the same time, technical advances in operational water governance are massively increasing the amount of data and information available. Unless people have access to suitable methods for meaningfully analysing and categorising this input, it will exacerbate uncertainty in water management. Multiple stakeholders, and numerous different methods and tools running in parallel are causing significant delays to decision-making processes in water management. This is where the joint research project comes in. It will develop integrated solutions for water resources management and governance by shortening the reaction times in institutions actively involved in water management. In doing so, it will make a substantial contribution to increasing good governance in the water sector.

More information about the joint research project is available here.