Water Resources Management Capcity Building in the Context of Global Change


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Project time

April 2016 - March 2021

Principal investigators

Slobodan P. Simonovic, Professor, Western University

Project team

Slobodan P. Simonovic, Professor
Patrick Breach, PhD Student, contact person, email

Project description

The overall objective of the proposed research is to devise innovative methodologies based of the use of systems analysis for supporting decision making within the paradigm of a global change modelling (GCMP) under (i) high system complexity; and (ii) high uncertainty. The methodologies will be developed to meaningfully address tough problems involving water, energy and the environment within a globally changing conditions with special emphasis on population growth and migrations, land use change and change of climatic conditions. The main goal is to design solutions that are highly resilient, sustainable and fair. This flexible GCMP approach will be driven by two main principles: (i) integration – consideration of interconnected systems such as water, population, food, energy, ecosystem, economy, and climate; and (ii) resilience – ability to withstand, respond and recover from unexpected system disturbances like unprecedented flooding and drought.

A range of major advances will be made within the structure of the ANEMI model (product of earlier research and the only available model today that represents the water resources sectors as endogenously linked to the rest of the global system) to develop feedback structures between global economy and water resources management and to incorporate adaptation to water stress through economic investment in infrastructures at global and regional scales. In addition the proposed research will identify intervention options (adaptation scenarios) in various sectors and at various scales, and use improved ANEMI to assess combinations of these options that can be effective and robust across a set of alternative integrated scenarios of future water availability and use. ANEMI model use in the assessment will take into account the hierarchical structure of feedbacks, such as those existing for energy and water among the federal, provincial and local governments, for the purpose of achieving sustainable solutions. Model simulations will provide for the design of governance policies and management practices and thorough testing of alternative options. Complex problem of global water management will be assessed through feedback interactions with regional and local activities. This will make the results of the proposed research of high value to Canadians. By implementing systems thinking and acting in accordance to the guidance provided by the systems methodologies developed in this research, Canada will be in a position to take advantage of its immense water, energy and other natural resources and continue along the path of sustainable development and fair prosperity.

Project Publications


Project Papers


Project Reports


Project Presentations

Wastewater Treatment Energy Recovery Potential: an Integrated Assessment. Energy and Water 2016 Symposium. Presented by Patrick Breach, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, June, 2016.

Energy and Water in the Earth System: an Integrated Modelling Approach. The 61st International Society for the Systems Sciences Conference 2017. Presented by Patrick Breach, Vienna, Austria, July, 2017.