Abstract for: Does Produced Water Management Need Hybrid System Dynamics and Agent-Based Modeling?

This paper explores the possibility and plausibility of developing a hybrid simulation method combining agent-based (AB) and system dynamics (SD) modeling to address the case study of produced water management (PWM). In southeastern New Mexico, the oil and gas industry generates large volumes of produced water, while at the same time, freshwater resources are scarce. Single-method models are unable to capture the dynamic impacts of PWM on the water budget at both the local and aggregate levels, thus the need for a more complex hybrid approach. We use literature, information characterizing produced water in New Mexico, and our preliminary interviews with subject matter experts to develop this framework. We then conduct a systematic literature review to summarize state-of-the-art of hybrid modeling methodologies and techniques. Our research reveals there is a small but growing volume of hybrid modeling efforts that could provide some foundational support for modelers interested in hybrid modeling approaches for complex natural resource management issues. We categorize these efforts in four classes based on their approach to hybrid modeling. It appears that, among these classes, PWM requires the most sophisticated approach, indicating that PWM modelers will need to face serious challenges of breaking new ground in this realm.