Abstract for: A Participatory System Dynamics model to investigate sustainable urban water management in Ebbsfleet Garden City
Urban water management (UWM) faces several challenges related to growing urban populations, climate change and ageing infrastructure. An extensive participatory process was initiated to investigate the UWM challenges in the Ebbsfleet Garden City (UK) and explore potential sustainable solutions using a System Dynamics Model (SDM). The collaborative development of a SDM enabled the structured exploration of interdependencies within the current UWM, and developed a stakeholders’ understanding of where crucial future policy interventions might be best focused. This method was used to support decision-making at a strategic, system-wide level, exploring the long-term consequences of alternative strategies, particularly those that are difficult to include in quantitative models. While a SDM can be developed by experts alone, building it collaboratively allows the process to benefit from the local knowledge, and results in a collective learning process. Discussion by stakeholders brought to the development of a SDM to investigate how residential potable water consumption in the Ebbsfleet Garden City might be reduced through a range of interventions, e.g. socio-environmental and economic policy incentives.