Decision Support System

Decision making on water management policy at the national, river basin or polder level is a complex matter. A policy maker or river basin authority may want to reduce flood risk or improve water quality. The decision on what to do is ultimatedly political, but in order to make well founded decisions, information on the water system is required. The decision makers may not be water managers, or many different disciplines are required, or they may want to involve other stakeholders. In all these cases information needs to be shared and needs to be processed in such as way that the information facilitates the decision making process. A tool that makes this possible is a Decision Support System or DSS.

Screenshot of WFD Explorer, a DSS developed by a consortium led by RIZA and Delft Hydraulics, now Deltares. The development was first funded through the programme "Leven met Water" and the consortium partners, now by the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Watermanagement (V&W) and STOWA. Picture source: A DSS is an interactive, computer based system. Typically, they consist of a simulation model and/ or databases and a user-friendly interface that allow non-expert users to select and assess the information they need. These interfaces are like the dashboard of a car. All the complexity of the underlying system is bypassed; nevertheless it provides the decision maker (the driver) and other stakeholders (the passengers) the relevant information to get where you want to go.

For more information on DSS please contact Sandra Junier (for decision support issues) or Luciano Raso (especially for optimisation issues).