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C5.2 Shared vision planning


Recent advances in interactive modelling tools now allow parties to create jointly sophisticated yet inexpensive models of, for instance, the river basin and rivers and groundwater. Such models produce a simulation tool which is owned by the parties and is manipulated and used in a visual way. Since the stakeholders themselves create the model, they are more willing to engage in scenario analyses.

Optimisation modelling goes beyond simulation and produces ideas on the best investment or best options given certain assumptions. It should be used carefully in conflict situations.

Valuation is an important tool to support conflict management, and can facilitate the process of sharing benefits (rather than simply sharing water). Even if valuation may not be possible in monetary terms, the exercise of benefit estimation, even if only qualitative, helps to indicate better solutions.

Shared vision modelling is best used in multi stakeholder, multi- issue situations. As parties begin to confront the need to plan for growing scarcity of water under competing demands, it is highly useful to bring sectors together. The process of building a shared vision helps to build a common language about the water resource issues among parties. It is also useful where there is no common database and data sharing is difficult, and where there is little shared knowledge of the resources.

For material on the use of models for information, knowledge and awareness raising see C1.3, C4.2, and C8. See also tools A1 (policy formulation), B1.2 (transboundary organisations), C1 (Water resource assessment and demand assessment), and C2 (plans for IWRM).

Lessons learned

  • The best modelling applications try to show parties an overall picture of the situation and to put the water conflict situation in context.
  • A shared vision can also be useful to begin to illustrate how benefits can be generated from co-operation and thus begin to push parties towards a focus on sharing benefits, rather than simply sharing flows. Valuation supports this approach.

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