Participatory approaches in developing a model to assist water resource management

Terence Chan, Bronwyn Powell, Helen Ross, S Hoverman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper describes the practical application of a participatory approach used in developing a model for assisting water resource management in the Kongulai catchment in the Solomon Islands. In collaboration with local water resource managers, the Kongulai was selected as the study site as it provides up to 60 of the water for Honiara, the capital. Management of this resource is complex, with potentially competing uses for the water and the catchment, including drinking, domestic, agricultural and industrial uses, as well as multiple threats from contamination, changing land-use and variable hydrology. Additional system considerations come from the multifaceted socio-economic and institutional arrangements. Stakeholder consultation was a key element in the model development process. The three main stakeholder groups, the customary landowners, the government, and non-governmental organisations, were consulted separately in May 2007, to ensure openness in identifying stakeholder concerns and to elicit each groupsa?? understanding of the catchment and how it worked with respect to water resources. During a further visit in October 2007 all stakeholder representatives were brought together and preliminary results combining outputs from the May consultations were presented for discussion and feedback, and prioritisation of concerns and issues to be included in a quantitative model. Because of its intuitive graphical basis, a Bayesian belief network was considered an appropriate tool, and is being developed based on the stakeholdersa?? conceptual diagrams. Involvement of representative stakeholders and accounting for their concerns as well as using their local knowledge of the system was intended to build trust in the model development process and in any outcomes, as well as facilitate relationships between the different groups affecting, and affected by, the catchment. Inclusion of local knowledge is also essential to model development in cases such as this, where little quantitative data is available.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the iEMSs fourth Biennial Meeting: International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software
    EditorsM Sanchez-Marre, J Bejar, J Comas, A E Rizzoli, G Guariso
    Place of PublicationManno Switzerland
    PublisherInternational Environmental Modelling and Software Society
    Pages850 - 857
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)9788476530740
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventInternational Environmental Modelling and Software Society 2008 - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 7 Jul 200810 Jul 2008
    Conference number: 4th (Link to the proceedings)


    ConferenceInternational Environmental Modelling and Software Society 2008
    Abbreviated titleiEMSs 2008
    Other3 volumes of proceedings
    Internet address

    Cite this