Water Resources Management

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 1091–1102 | Cite as

The Role of Model Interfaces for Participation in Water Management

  • Thomas Horlitz


Despite the increasing complexity in water management decision processes the actual use of models in those processes is not very common. Particularly in participatory water management the potential participants do not seem to find access to models used or usable for decision-making. The article discusses up to which degree computer- and Internet-based tools and complementary instruments can help to
  • present information to the public,

  • allow interactive access to data and creating own results,

  • allow the public to exchange views and raise objections and ideas.

A focus lies on the role of (‘human’ and technical) interfaces in this context. Among the introduced solutions are Internet participation platforms or interfaces adapted to the needs of participants with simplified versions of models. The increasing use of the Internet and free software products as well as the implementation of new conventions and EU directives will lead to a better access to data by the general public. But it also becomes clear that more than better technical solutions are needed. For the potential participants the importance of participation as well as the limits of their impact on the final decision has to be made clear. Facilitators (‘human interfaces’) to help people make use of tools and models would be a great advantage.

Key words

water framework directive participation models decision support system Internet platform 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Entera Consultancy for Planning and ITHannoverGermany

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