Decision making under uncertainty in a decision support system for the Red River

Inge de Kort, Martijn J. Booij

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Decision support systems (DSSs) are increasingly being used in water management for the evaluation of impacts of policy measures under different scenarios. The exact impacts generally are unknown and surrounded with considerable uncertainties. It may therefore be difficult to make a selection of measures relevant for a particular water management problem. In order to support policy makers to make a strategic selection between different measures in a DSS while taking uncertainty into account, a methodology for the ranking of measures has been developed. The methodology has been applied to a pilot DSS for flood control in the Red River basin in Vietnam and China. The decision variable is the total flood damage and possible flood reducing measures are dike heightening, reforestation and the construction of a retention basin. The methodology consists of a Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis employing Latin Hypercube Sampling and a ranking procedure based on the significance of the difference between output distributions for different measures. The mean flood damage in the base situation is about 2.2 billion US$ for the year 1996 with a standard deviation due to parameter uncertainty of about 1 billion US$. Selected applications of the measures reforestation, dike heightening and the construction of a retention basin reduce the flood damage by about 5, 55 and 300 million US$, respectively. The construction of a retention basin significantly reduces flood damage in the Red River basin, while dike heightening and reforestation reduce flood damage, but not significantly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-136
JournalEnvironmental modelling & software
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • IR-61510
  • METIS-221518


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