Online short course: Decision Support Systems in River Basin Management Regular online short course for 12 weeks (equivalent to 3 weeks full-time study) Period: 15 September – 15 December, any year OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE River Basin Management (RBM) presents a very complex decision making context. It is characterised with diverse interactions among the natural - physical system, the socioeconomic system that relies upon the water resources of a given river basin and the administrative- institutional system responsible for river basin planning and management. These complex interactions require full understanding of the various systems’ components and translation of their interactions into structured formulations as decision making problems. Such formulations lead towards the development of decision support tools and systems that can aid decision makers and various stakeholders involved in river basin management in their decision making processes. The process of designing and developing decision support systems (DSSs) for RBM requires competences that can roughly be classified in two categories. The first category of competences is in proper formulation of decision making problems as well as understanding of the appropriate usage of various tools and techniques such as simulation, optimisation and multi-criteria analyses. The second category of competencies are required for the actual DSS development, which is usually a computer-based system that integrates data, models and decision support techniques into a decision support environment. This environment is equipped with intuitive user interfaces that meet the diverse knowledge needs of various stakeholders involved in RBM. This online short course is primarily focused on developing competences that belong to the first category. Following this course will help answering questions such as: What are the challenges of integrated RBM? Which guiding principles (sustainability, equity) form the basis for successful RBM? How can different management options be linked to the multiple river basin functions? How can we utilise systems analysis approaches to formulate structured decision making problem descriptions using alternatives and objectives? What is the role and applicability of various tools and techniques for solving such decision making problems (simulation, optimisation, multi-criteria analyses)? The course will also give an overview of a generic structure of computer-based decision support systems in river basin management as well as an overview of different kinds of DSSs required at different decision-making level (operational management, planning and design, policy formulation). LEARNING TARGETS After the online short course participants who successfully passed the assessments will be able to: • Identify the key challenges in River Basin Management and understand the need for decision support tools • Translate RBM problems into structured decision making problems using systems analysis approaches through formulation of alternatives and objectives • Identify the role and applicability of modelling simulation for the purposes of decision support • Set-up and execute moderately complex river basin simulation models • Identify the role and applicability of various optimisation techniques for the purposes of decision support • Formulate several typical water resources problems as optimisation problems and solve them using optimisation software packages • Identify the role and applicability of Multi Criteria Analyses (MCA) techniques for the purposes of decision support • Formulate given river basin management problem as an MCA problem and analyse it using specialized software • Understand the generic structure of a computer-based DSSs used in RBM and distinguish different types of DSSs TARGET GROUP The course is designed for young and mid-level professionals who are involved in decision making processes in river basins at different levels, or those who are developing modelling and information systems support for managing water resources in river basins. Participants who want to develop competencies in these fields can also apply for the course. COURSE CONTENTS The total study load is 140 hours distributed over 12 weeks (average study load of about 12 hours per week) and is equivalent to full-time study of 3 weeks. The content covered in the course is: Subjects Syllabus 1 River Basin Management Introduction to the concept of RBM; Guiding principles in RBM; relations between the natural, socioeconomic and administrative systems; functions and users; Challenges: integration across functions, upstream-downstream integration, trade-offs; Nature of RBM complexity requiring decision support 2 Decision support: Introduction to decision making processes; Formulation of objectives and structuring decision making alternatives; Hierarchical structuring of objectives; Formulation of alternatives problems and solution in terms of control (decision) variables; Introduction to simulation, techniques optimisation and multi-criteria analyses as techniques used in decision support 3 Modelling simulations as Modelling paradigms: physically-based modelling, data-driven modelling- tools for decision support in agent-based modelling; Types of modelling used for RBM: river basin RBM modelling; catchment modelling; river and flood Modelling; water quality and ecological modelling; socioeconomic modelling; Special focus on River Basin Modelling; Computer exercises with River Basin Modelling Software 4 Optimisation techniques Introduction to optimisation; Classical optimisation (calculus-based); Single- for decision support in RBM objective and multi-objective optimisation; Linear Programming; Dynamic Programming; Formulation of typical water resources problems as optimisation problems; Exercises with optimisation software packages 5 Multi-Criteria Analyses The need for MCA; Definition of MCA problems; Solution methods – (MCA) techniques and their compensatory and non-compensatory; Decision matrix and its use; Multiple role in decision support for Attributes Decision Methods (MADM); Computer exercises with DSS RBM software that implements MCA 6. Structure and types of Introduction to DSS as computer-based tools; Structure of a generic DSS; DSSs for RBM Types of DSSs; Examples of developed DSSs and case studies . COURSE FEE The online course fee is 550 Euro, which includes access to the Digital Learning Environment and its training materials and training support. PREREQUISITES Education: Prerequisites for the course are a masters or bachelors degree in engineering or science with some knowledge in basic hydraulics and basic hydrology. Participants are also expected to have some professional experience in the water sector. Experience in water resources modelling or water resources management can be an added advantage but it is not a prerequisite. ICT: Participants must have access to a present day PC with Windows (XP/2000/98) with a Pentium 266 MHz processor, 64 MB RAM and Hi-Colour (16 bit or better) video card. Software requirements are: Microsoft Office (2000/97), Windows Media Player, Mozilla Firefox with Adobe Flash player, Acrobat Reader, etc. Participants should have access to a high speed Internet connection (e.g. 512 kilobits per second). MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION For more information about the contents and the structure of the course, please contact Andreja Jonoski (firstname.lastname@example.org). For registration questions please contact email@example.com .