Water Diplomacy by Water Diplomat
Water Diplomat provides a Software as Service based on system dynamics to prevent water wars by facilitating negotiation among stakeholders.
Do you know more than one billion people worldwide facing water stress because of climate change and mismanagement? To solve this massive issue we need effective water management by trust building among competitive stakeholders. While the existing water software tools simply treat water management as an engineering problem, it is in reality an institutional problem. Therefore we designed the “Water Diplomat” model to facilitate the policy maker’s holistic understanding of the issues and simulate impacts of management decisions on the resources and society. Water Diplomat utilizes system dynamics approach, which is easier to use and it gets better as it is used more. As a benefit to others, we provide a software-as-a-service, where in initial modeling, counseling, and assistance in planning Water Diplomat will rely on the collective knowledge. We anticipate being able to service two lakes committees in our first year and then increase to 4 number in the second year. In our first year alone, Water Diplomat’s work on these two lakes will positively impact more than one million people living around these lakes.
What actions do you propose?
Water Diplomat uses VENSIM software to model uncertain games among the stakeholders. A visualization tool helps stakeholders easily assess the impact of sustainability policies, especially for poor communities living around drying lakes. The following steps are carried out to build this Water Diplomat model: (i) describing the problem and its uncertain inputs; (ii) defining key variables to develop the lake's model; (iii) preparing casual loop diagrams and system archetypes; (iv) building a stock and flow model in VENSIM environment; and (v) calibration and validation. We are currently pilot testing Water Diplomat in Urmia Lake in Iran, where over five million people are affected by contradictory water management policies. By helping stakeholders to build a shared vision for managing these water resources, we will positively impact the lives of millions in Urmia Lake and elsewhere.
Who will take these actions?
There are 117 million lakes in the world. Most of these lakes, including man-made reservoirs, are facing or will soon face quality and/or quantity issues. Growing public awareness of this critical environmental issue will drive demand for Water Diplomat. Governments and donor agencies working on water and environment are our primary customers for this service. Additionally, companies dependent on local water sources can use Water Diplomat to make decisions on budget, water quantity and quality and external impacts. For our pilot customer, the Urmia Lake Restoration Program, we conducted several interviews and workshops with local farmers, NGOs, experts and decision makers to build and field-test Water Diplomat. We are currently in negotiations with other interested firms and potential customers like stakeholders for Lake Chad, the Iraq Marshlands and Hamoun Lake. A successful application of Water Diplomat in these three lakes could impact over 20.9 million people.
Where will these actions be taken?
The customers will be segmented into direct clients or third party clients. Some potential clients are Urmia Lake Restoration Program and Hamoun Lake. Other direct clients could be Lake Cahd committee, Lake Turakana and Flathead Lake,
The third party organization may use Water Diplomat to prevent water wars (which are now getting intensified by climate change)
•Consensus Building Institute
•Environmental Mediation Center’s (EMC)National Conflict Resolution Center
•International Lake Environment Committee
•United Nations Water Program
•Asian Development Bank
What are other key benefits?
We will provide a ready prototype including surface water, groundwater, budget, decision analysis, lake volume, and population sub-modules. In addition the model is based on a System Dynamics approach which extensively considers feedbacks and delays, which cannot usually be modeled in competitive softwares. In addition the visualization of the system behavior is the most important advantage of the model in order to bring the stakeholders to the table. Thus the free prototype, the visualization of the feedbacks, and training service are the marketing advantages of Water Diplomat.
What are the proposal’s costs?
The revenue comes from charge per counseling hours per man.
The successful use of Water Diplomat depends on data availability and also the initial cooperation of the local stakeholders. Additionally, the outcomes of the Water Diplomat model may not necessarily be accepted by the conflicting stakeholders. To address this issue, in future versions of our prototype we plan to draw on the economic literature on game theory and water diplomacy rules to address coordination, conflict resolution and limited rights issues.
The effect of using Water Diplomat to make consensus among stakeholders will be appeased in less than 5 years of application.
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