Cross-cutting issues 3
Developing information and decision support systems for energy and water
Access to, and sharing of data and information, not least across jurisdictions and boundaries, is in itself a major challenge for water resources management. In transboundary settings it is often considered an issue of national security. The data and information challenge does not become easier when water and energy is combined. However, assessment of the inter-linkages and trade-offs for water from energy development, and vice versa, is strengthened greatly by an environment of dialogue, trust and full sharing of data and information between decision-makers and affected stakeholders, both public and private.
It must also be flexible and adjustable to rapid change. Energy and water data and information may be made more accessible through mobile technologies. The complexity of decisions on water and energy development often calls for combined water- energy modeling as a basis for developing integrated decision support systems. In both sectors advanced models have been developed, and efforts to further combine and apply integrated water and energy modeling systems are underway. Such developments include hydro- and energy economics, ecological and hydrological effects, social criteria and economic tools to quantify trade-offs.