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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"A Large-Scale Water Supply Model for the Upper Danube Catchment"

The research project GLOWA-Danube investigates long-term changes in the water cycle of the Upper Danube river basin in light of global climatic change. Its concrete aim is to build the fully integrated decision support tool “DANUBIA” that comprises 15 individual models covering all major aspects governing the water cycle. GLOWA Danube and the DSS DANUBIA are subject of another contribution to this conference (Barthel et al.). This paper describes the development of an agent-based model of the water supply sector. The Water Supply model will act as a link between the various physical models determining water quality and availability on the one hand and the socio-economic models determining water demand on the other. Its aim is not only to be able to simulate the present day system of water extraction, treatment and distribution but also its development and change with time. As most changes to the system are brought about by decisions made by relevant actors in the field of water management or their behaviour (in response to political and economic boundary conditions, changes in water demand or water quality, advances in technology etc.), the use of agent-based modelling was chosen, whereby an agent is seen as a computer system (in our case representing a human or group of humans) which is aware of its environment, has defined objectives and is able to act independently in order to meet these objectives. Initially a conceptual water supply model was developed using UML and JAVA, in which both the model boundaries and area of expertise as well as parameters to be exchanged other models were defined. Following the object oriented philosophy of JAVA, the water supply system was broken down to a small number of main classes that represent the hierarchy typical for the water supply-consumer relation in Germany. Despite the various and far-ranging aspects and implications of the water supply model in the technical and socio-economic field, this conference contribution will mainly focus on the groundwater related aspects of water supply modelling. Firstly, groundwater contributes more than 80% of the overall water supply in the basin and more than 95% in the domestic sector. Groundwater quantity and quality and the sustainable use of groundwater both in an economic and ecologic sense are therefore crucial to the water supply system and its model representation. Secondly, the DANUBIA groundwater model is also developed by our research group. As a consequence, the water supply model and the groundwater model are developed in close cooperation. In order to point out the importance of a reliable groundwater flow model for the successful operation of a water supply model, certain aspects will be treated in greater detail in this paper. The groundwater model itself is presented in another contribution to this conference (Rojanschi & Wolf).