Designing and evaluating practices and tools to improve integrated assessment and modelling processes in the water sector

Despite advances in the development of integrated assessment and modelling (IWAM) to support the resolution of socio-environmental problems in water management and planning, there is still evidence of many challenges in IWAM practices and a gap between theory and practice. The process of IWAM needs to be improved to give better support to decision-makers and stakeholders. This improvement is possible by improving the pieces of IWAM puzzle to make a better pathway and also by making this pathway visible to others and opening this black-box, in order to let others incorporate in criticizing and improving the pathway. The synergy of all these changes in the IWAM pathway has the potential to help support decision-makers more effectively.

This research aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice of IWAM and to investigate and design the appropriate methods and practices in order improve the IWAM pathway into a robust and adaptive and more practical process which suit decision-making needs. The investigated issues are in terms of the neglected issues in IWAM history, making a shared understanding of the adaptive IWAM pathway and the main problem of interest between experts, decision-makers and stakeholders, methodological decisions during IWAM and factors that can influence them, communication and documentation and evaluation of pathway. The usefulness of designed methods and practices is examined through several examples and case studies including the lower Campaspe catchment, Victoria, Australia; Zaribar lake, Kurdistan, Iran and Gorganroud basin, Iran.