Module 6: DECISION-SUPPORT TOOLS - Choosing a sustainable path

Traditionally, investment and planning decisions within urban water management are taken independently within different sub-sectors, based on narrowly defined aims and implementation costs. This approach typically lacks the scope to also identify negative knock-on effects – as well as benefits – elsewhere in the system. In addition, it tends to favour rigid solutions only capable of operating within a rather limited range of variability.

Integrated modelling and decision-support tools such as those introduced in Module 6 can help assess the urban water cycle from a holistic perspective and facilitate decision making that has a higher chance of leading to sustainable solutions, acknowledges uncertainty and prioritises interventions that have the flexibility to cope with a range of possible future scenarios.

Adaptable to local circumstances, the tools discussed in this module focus on specific areas of the urban water cycle, such as stormwater management and water supply, whilst ensuring that the input data and interpretation of outputs are placed firmly in the context of IUWM.

Module 6 will assist users to gain a better understanding of:

  • the way in which integrated decision making utilises information and knowledge to assess the urban water cycle holistically, manage future uncertainty and promote multi-stakeholder engagement;
  • how Decision Support Systems can be used to manage large quantities of data and model the impacts of potential strategies and scenarios;
  • the use of indicators to evaluate results of data assessment and present complex output to a wider audience; and
  • the practical details of selected tools, including the SWITCH-developed City Water tool.

Click here to open Module 6 (file size 3.3 MB)