A system dynamics simulation model for sustainable water resources management and agricultural development in the Volta River Basin, Ghana

Kotir, Julius H., Smith, Carl, Brown, Greg, Marshall, Nadine and Johnstone, Ron (2016) A system dynamics simulation model for sustainable water resources management and agricultural development in the Volta River Basin, Ghana. Science of the Total Environment, 573 444-457. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.08.081


Author Kotir, Julius H.
Smith, Carl
Brown, Greg
Marshall, Nadine
Johnstone, Ron
Title A system dynamics simulation model for sustainable water resources management and agricultural development in the Volta River Basin, Ghana
Journal name Science of the Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0048-9697
1879-1026
Publication date 2016-12-15
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.08.081
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 573
Start page 444
End page 457
Total pages 14
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract In a rapidly changing water resources system, dynamic models based on the notion of systems thinking can serve as useful analytical tools for scientists and policy-makers to study changes in key system variables over time. In this paper, an integrated system dynamics simulation model was developed using a system dynamics modelling approach to examine the feedback processes and interaction between the population, the water resource, and the agricultural production sub-sectors of the Volta River Basin in West Africa. The objective of the model is to provide a learning tool for policy-makers to improve their understanding of the long-term dynamic behaviour of the basin, and as a decision support tool for exploring plausible policy scenarios necessary for sustainable water resource management and agricultural development. Structural and behavioural pattern tests, and statistical test were used to evaluate and validate the performance of the model. The results showed that the simulated outputs agreed well with the observed reality of the system. A sensitivity analysis also indicated that the model is reliable and robust to uncertainties in the major parameters. Results of the business as usual scenario showed that total population, agricultural, domestic, and industrial water demands will continue to increase over the simulated period. Besides business as usual, three additional policy scenarios were simulated to assess their impact on water demands, crop yield, and net-farm income. These were the development of the water infrastructure (scenario 1), cropland expansion (scenario 2) and dry conditions (scenario 3). The results showed that scenario 1 would provide the maximum benefit to people living in the basin. Overall, the model results could help inform planning and investment decisions within the basin to enhance food security, livelihoods development, socio-economic growth, and sustainable management of natural resources.
Keyword Agricultural production
Feedback loops
System dynamics modelling
River basin
Scenarios analysis
Systems thinking
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
 
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Created: Thu, 15 Sep 2016, 22:47:46 EST by Dr Carl Smith on behalf of School of Agriculture and Food Sciences