Decision making under uncertainty in a Decision support System for the Red River

Inge de Kort, Martijn J. Booij

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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. These uncertainties stem from natural randomness, uncertainty in data, models and parameters, and uncertainty about measures and scenarios. 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. For illustrative purposes, only parameter uncertainty is taken into account. 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 significance is determined with the Student test for Gaussian distributions and with the non-parametric Wilcoxon test for non-Gaussian distributions. The results show Gaussian distributions for the flood damage in all situations. 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$. Selected applications of the measures reforestation, dike heightening and the construction of a retention basin reduce the flood damage with about 5, 55 and 300 million US$ 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 languageUndefined
Title of host publicationiEMSs 2004 International Congress: Complexity and integrated resources management. International Environmental modelling and software Society, Vol II, June 2004
EditorsClaudia Pahl-Wostl, S. Schmidt, A.E. Rizzoli, A.J. Jakeman
Place of PublicationOsnabrück, Germany
PublisherInternational Environmental Modelling and Software Society (iEMSs)
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2004
EventSecond Biennial Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society 2004: Proceedings of the Second Biennial Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, 14-17 June 2004, Osnabrück, Germany - Osnabrück, Germany, Osnabrück, Germany
Duration: 14 Jun 200417 Jun 2004


ConferenceSecond Biennial Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society 2004
CityOsnabrück, Germany
Other14-17 June 2004


  • METIS-217730
  • IR-62122

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