Experiment with simulation models in water-resources negotiations

René Reitsma*, Ilze Zigurs, Clayton Lewis, Vance Wilson, Anthony Sloane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


A laboratory experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of various kinds of access to a simulation model on water-resources negotiation outcomes and processes. The (mock) negotiation involved determining a release schedule from two reservoirs through a negotiation between subjects representing hydroelectric, agricultural, and flood-control interests. Results revealed the following: (1) The model was of only limited value in helping negotiators understand the behavior of the environmental system; (2) the model did provide assistance in finding policies that satisfied specific task constraints; (3) the availability of the model encouraged negotiators to consider more policies; and (4) the benefits of using the model directly, rather than getting access to model results produced by an assistant, were offset by the burden of direct use. The findings are evaluated in light of a growing trend in many governmental organizations to make water-resources simulation models available to stakeholders and the public at large.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


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