European Commission Fifth RTD Framework Programme

A Future for The Dead Sea: Options for a More Sustainable Water Management

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Scenario Management Tool

Dynamic Synthesis Model

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Proposal for Interdisciplinary Research Integration

Dynamic Synthesis Model

Dynamic Synthesis Model


            The dynamic synthesis model will bring together the system integration model and results from scenario synthesis.  The dynamic model will be made with a system dynamic modeling tools, “Vensim”, and it will be linked with a GIS (ArcGIS).  Figure 1 is a graphical presentation of the link between the System Integration and the GIS. 


Figure 1. The link between GIS and System Integration

            The scenarios were constructed and the Scenario Management tool is in its final stages of development.  The system integration model, on the other hand, attempts to understand the water system of the Dead Sea Area through the integration of three subsystems; namely the physical system, the water governance system and the social-economic system (Figure 2).

Figure 2: A schematic diagram showing the interaction of the three
subsystems and agreed upon nomenclature of system components

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           The physical system described the physical dimension of water supply and use (plus driving forces) and the consequences on the environment (particularly nature, land/soil, and groundwater).  The social system covers the social and economic issues of water use in a systemic approach, it attempts to understand the fulfilled versus the unfulfilled essential water needs and the non-essential water wishes. These are assumed to have a substantial effect on water abstraction and sustainable versus unsustainable use of resources.  The Governance subsystem will describe the policies on national and regional levels, including institutional aspects of water policy. It will also address the issue of driving forces for policy changes. Other issues that will be included are: traditional water rights, water policies in IL, JO, PS, players, role and power of stakeholders, international dimension, conflicts of interest. The system aspect that will be considered is the connection between policies (regional, communal, local) and the driving forces for them, particularly the role of economic factors, of NGO interest groups, and of communities.


           Work on the three systems (physical, social and economic) started by developing causal loop diagrams to provide a top-down view of the three systems to provide an understanding of the interactions between the elements of each system and between the three systems.  For example, The physical subsystem has been divided into 7 components which are: groundwater resources, surface water resources, climatic conditions, wastewater, water use, water infrastructure/utilities, and land use. Each of these subcomponents affects other subcomponents.  Moreover, they are directly affected and affect the other two subsystems: socio-economic subsystem and policy subsystems.


           The construction of the causal loop diagrams which describes the nature of interactions (e.g. synergistic versus antagonistic) between the different components was followed by the construction of stock and flow diagrams with defined quantities and mathematical expressions linking the various components.  Work on the stock and flow diagrams has been completed.  However, access to the stock and flow diagrams will be restricted to project partners and the funding agency.  The diagrams, the integration of the Scenario Management tool with system integration model and with GIS will be available to researchers through proper publications towards the completion of the project.

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