Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Prof. Slobodan P. Simonovic


The existing definition of integrated water resources management (IWRM) promotes a holistic approach to water resources management practice. The IWRM deals with planning, design and operation of complex systems in order to control the quantity, quality, temporal and spatial distribution of water with the main objective of meeting human and ecological needs and providing protection from water disasters. One of the main challenges of IWRM is development of tools for operational implementation of the concept and dynamic coupling of physical and socio-economic components of water resources systems. This research examines the role of simulation in IWRM practices, analyses the advantages and limitations of existing modeling methods, and, as a result, suggests a new generic multi-method modeling framework that has the main goal to capture all structural complexities and interactions within water resources systems. Since traditional modeling methods solely do not provide sufficient support, this framework uses multi-method simulation approach to examine the co-dependence between natural resources and socio-economic environment. Designed framework consists of (i) a spatial database, (ii) a process-based model for representing the physical environment and changing conditions, and (iii) an agent-based model for representing spatially explicit socio-economic environment. The main idea behind multi-agent models is to build virtual complex systems composed of autonomous entities, which operate on local knowledge, possess limited abilities, affect and are affected by local environment, and thus enact the desired global system behavior. Based on the architecture of the generic multi-method modeling framework, an operational model is developed for the Upper Thames River basin, Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Six different experiments combine three climate and two socio-economic scenarios to analyze spatial dynamics of a complex physical-social-economic system. Obtained results present strong dependence between changes in hydrologic regime, in this case surface runoff and groundwater recharge rates, and regional socio-economic activities.

IHSEM-UTRB.rar (9972 kB)
hydrologicextension.rar (97 kB)
Data.rar (42612 kB)