Designing and evaluating practices and tools to improve integrated assessment and modelling processes in the water sector
Despite advances in Integrated Water Resources Assessment and Modelling (IWAM), there remains a distinct gap between its theory and practice in supporting decision-making with regard to socio-environmental problems. This thesis aims to bridge that gap using a design science research approach, in which developing and applying designed "artifacts" (tools, methods, practices, and ideas) contributes to knowledge and understanding of the problem domain and its solution, and to improvement of...[Show more]
|dc.description.abstract||Despite advances in Integrated Water Resources Assessment and Modelling (IWAM), there remains a distinct gap between its theory and practice in supporting decision-making with regard to socio-environmental problems. This thesis aims to bridge that gap using a design science research approach, in which developing and applying designed "artifacts" (tools, methods, practices, and ideas) contributes to knowledge and understanding of the problem domain and its solution, and to improvement of existing practices. The thesis consists of six papers spanning a range of IWAM problems. Paper #1 uses bibliometric techniques to track changes in IWAM over time through four stages: Conception, Formation, Practice and Maturity. The analysis highlights the dominance of biophysical modelling aspects and deficiencies in achieving crucial integration with socio-technical and human-driver aspects. Therefore, this thesis focuses on IWAM as a social rather than an exclusively technical process. Paper # 2 tackles the challenge of achieving a shared understanding of the IWAM pathway among diverse stakeholders. The paper suggests the use of "pathway diagrams" and "ID cards" to combine multiple guidelines and to co-constructs a customizable adaptive modelling process. A "pathway" is an adaptively adjusted chain of steps at which various decisions are made. A pathway diagram provides a structure within which steps from guidelines can be inserted. Each ID card provides a quick summary of information about a step across multiple guidelines and offers a common language and point of interaction. Paper #3 examines methods to support IWAM problem scoping to integrate concerns from different stakeholders, and to identify and assemble essential information from torrents of different disciplinary knowledge. Specifically, combining Drivers-Pressure-State-Impact-Responses and System Dynamics is shown to provide complementary insights into problem scoping, boundary setting and model structure in the Gorganroud-Gharesu Basin, Iran. Paper #4 describes how the interactive methodological decisions in the IWAM pathway are influenced by several facets of human interactions originating from: cognitive, behavioural and mental frameworks; biases, beliefs, heuristics and values; and time, budget and knowledge limitations. Rival decision support paths emerge from the cumulative effects of individual methodological choices and human factors, warranting careful consideration to enhance confidence in recommendations and illuminate sensitivities to methodological choices. Paper #5 notes that despite wide recognition of the importance of communication and documentation, decisions along the pathway are rarely dissected. A practical analysis, using the pathway diagram, maps actual and potential alternative project decisions in a case study in Zaribar lake, Iran, demonstrating the benefits of planning communication and documentation that enables reflection and adaptation of the pathway to changing circumstances. Paper #6 demonstrates the benefits of combining ongoing self-reflection based monitoring focused on formative evaluation of the IWAM pathway with conventional evaluation focused on outcomes. In a case study in the Campaspe catchment, Australia, the author acts as "involved monitor" to guide reflection by team members to evaluate their project decisions and identify possible future improvements. In sum, the thesis provides an investigation of several socio-technical aspects of IWAM, resulting in the design of several artefacts that can support a more effective, adaptive and robust pathway, and therefore improve the societal contribution to modelling projects.|
|dc.title||Designing and evaluating practices and tools to improve integrated assessment and modelling processes in the water sector|
|dc.provenance||Chapter 7 delayed release 12 months from submission into repository (expires 3rd September 2021). Made OA 22.10.2021 after no response from author re: extending Chapter 7 restriction.|
|Collections||Open Access Theses|
|PhD_thesis_FZare_1-9_2020-revised-final-submitted.pdf||69.87 MB||Adobe PDF|
Items in Open Research are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.