Agent based simulation of a small catchment water management in northern Thailand Description of the CATCHSCAPE model

N. Becu, P. Perez, A. Walker, O. Barreteau, C. Le Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)


Due to mounting human pressure, stakeholders in northern Thailand are facing crucial natural resources management (NRM) issues. Among others, the impact of upstream irrigation management on downstream agricultural viability is a growing source of conflict, which often has both biophysical and social origins. As multiple rural stakeholders are involved, appropriate solutions should only emerge from negotiation. CATCHSCAPE is a Multi-Agent System (MAS) that enables us to simulate the whole catchment features as well as farmer's individual decisions. The biophysical modules simulate the hydrological system with its distributed water balance, irrigation scheme management and crop and vegetation dynamics. The social dynamics are described as a set of resource management processes (water, land, cash, labour force). Water management is described according to the actual different levels of control (individual, scheme and catchment). Moreover, the model's architecture is presented in a way that emphasises the transparency of the rules and methods implemented. Finally, one simulated scenario is described along with its main results, according to different viewpoints (economy, landscape, water management).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalEcological Modelling
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Catchment
  • Integrated modelling
  • Multi-Agent System
  • Northern Thailand
  • Water management

Cite this