Water use trade-offs: How integrated

modelling can help

Lukas Drees, Robert Lütkemeier, Stefan Liehr
ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research, Frankfurt/Main
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F),
Frankfurt/Main

1st Hamburg Workshop on Agent-based Modeling of Environmental
Challenges and Climate Policy
Hamburg, 10.-11. March 2017
Outline

1. Cuvelai basin and droughts in Southern Africa
2. Water use trade-offs
3. Integrated modelling
4. Modelling approach
5. First results

Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 2
Cuvelai basin in Namibia/Angola

Environment
 Semi-arid climate
 Strong seasonality
 High groundwater salinity

Society
 1.2 mio people (80% rural)
 Subsistence economy
 Tap water system in Namibia

Pictures taken by R. Lütkemeier
Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 3
Droughts in Southern Africa

Pictures taken by R. Lütkemeier
Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 4
Cuvelai basin: Water sources

Pictures taken by R. Lütkemeier
Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 5
Water use trade-offs

Natural Societal
structures & structures &
processes processes

Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 6
Integrated modelling

 How to integrate knowledge from/of different
• disciplines,
• sources,
• units,
• scales and
• temporal and spatial resolutions?
 How to capture people’s limited/filtered perception of their
environment?
 How can uncertainty be taken into account?

Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 7
Bayesian networks

 combine graph theory and
probability theory
• directed acyclic graphical model
• represents conditional
dependencies between a set
of variables (Bayesian statistics)
 non-parametric method
 uncertain knowledge can be
Probability that searching for a job is
explicitly addressed
the main motive for migration:
 combination of different types of P(job) = 43 %
variables
P(job | favourable conditions) = 27 %
• e.g. empirical data and expert
knowledge P(job | unfavourable conditions) = 81 %

• social and natural scientific data
Drees/Liehr Glob. Environ. Chang. 2015

Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 8
Integrated modelling methods

Bayesian networks Agent-based models

 are able to integrate different  micro-level interactions result in
types of variables macro-level patterns
 uncertain knowledge is explicitly  models of heterogeneous
addressed population of agents and their
interactions
 non-parametric method  describe complex systems with
non-linearities

But: Major challenge:
 neither spatial nor temporal  formalisation of behavioural
dynamics rules?!

Software used for screenshots:
Bayesian Networks: Norsys 2017
Agent-based models: Wilensky 1999
Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 9
Modelling approach

Variable Source
Size of households Social-empirical surveys (n = 460)

Education Social-empirical surveys (n = 460)

Neighbours’ behaviour Model (ABM)
Population density Census data
Severity of drought Precipitation data (CHIRPS)
Pipeline network (Mendelsohn et al. 2013)

Households‘ characteristics

ABM
BN

Households‘ decisions 10

Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees
First results

Model characteristics:
 cut-out with approx. 2000 agents/households (spatially explicit  located
according to population density, including population growth)
 empirical data basis (n=460)
 monthly time steps
140 25,000,000

120
20,000,000
100

15,000,000
80
mm

l/month
60
10,000,000

40
5,000,000
20

0 0

PTA TNE PTA BOT BOR
VEN CAN IMW UGT UIW
SHW ETD OSH RAW precipitation

Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 11
First results

140 7,000,000

120 6,000,000

100 5,000,000

80 4,000,000

l/month
mm

60 3,000,000

40 2,000,000

20 1,000,000

0 0

precipitation PTA SHW RAW

Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 12
Conclusion and Outlook

 Modelling approach is able to capture annual variations of
water sources
 Assess influence of drivers and disentangle ecological and
socio-economic drivers
 Finalisation and calibration
 Compare and validate with other measures (e.g. WaterGAP
model)

Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 13
Thank you for your attention!

Lukas Drees, Robert Lütkemeier, Stefan Liehr
Research Unit Water Resources and Land Use
ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research, Frankfurt/Main
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Frankfurt/Main
Contact: drees@isoe.de

14

References


References and Credits

Drees, L., and Liehr, S. 2015. Using Bayesian belief networks to analyse social-ecological conditions for migration in the Sahel. Global
Environmental Change, 35, 323–339. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.09.003

 Lütkemeier, R. and Liehr, S. 2015. Impact of drought on the inhabitants of the Cuvelai watershed: A qualitative exploration. In: Andreu, J.
et al. (ed.): Drought: Research and Science-Policy Interfacing., Drought: Research and Science-Policy Interfacing Proceedings of the
international Conference on Drought: Research an Science-Policy Interfacing, Valencia, Spain 10-13 March 2015. London: Taylor &
Francis Group, 41-48

 Lütkemeier, R., Stein, L., Drees, L. and Liehr S. Uncertainty of rainfall products: impact on modelling household nutrition from rain-fed
farming in Southern Africa. (in preparation)

 Niang, I., O.C. Ruppel, M.A. Abdrabo, A. Essel, C. Lennard, J. Padgham, and P. Urquhart, 2014: Africa. In: Climate Change 2014:
Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Barros, V.R., C.B. Field, D.J. Dokken, M.D. Mastrandrea, K.J. Mach, T.E. Bilir, M.
Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White
(eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 1199-1265.

 Norsys Software Corp (2017). Netica, https://www.norsys.com/

 Mendelsohn, J., Jarvis, A. and Robertson, T., 2013. A profile and atlas of the Cuvelai-Etosha basin. RAISON.

 Wilensky, U. (1999). NetLogo. http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/. Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling,
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

Credits (for used icons – all from Noun Project):
“computer model“ created by Aygibe Aya, “cow“ created by misirlou, “creek“ by Dan Hetteix, “dead plant“ created by Gemma Garner, “drinking
glass“ created by Luis Prado, “drought“ created by Hayashi Fumihiro, “empty glass“ created by Amanda Wray, “grain“ created by Creative
Stall, “integration“ created by Gregor Črešnar, “line graph“ created by Lee, “sowing“ created by Sarah JOY, ”tap water“ created by Francesco
Ameglio, “trade-off hands“ created by Alfredo Hernandez, “watering can“ created by Yohann Berger, “well“ created by Yorlmar Campos,
“window“ created by artworkbean

Agent-based Modeling of Environmental Challenges and Climate Policy, L. Drees 15

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