A Modeling Framework to Incorporate Effects of Infrastructure in Sociohydrological Systems

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 5:45 PM
Rachata Muneepeerakul, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States
In studying coupled natural-human systems, most modeling efforts focus on humans and the natural resources. In reality, however, humans rarely interact with these resources directly; the relationships between humans and resources are mediated by infrastructures. In sociohydrological systems, these include, for example, dams and irrigation canals. These infrastructures have important characteristics such as threshold behavior and a separate entity/organization tasked with maintaining them. These characteristics influence social dynamics within the system, which in turn determines the state of infrastructure and water usage, thereby exerting feedbacks onto the hydrological processes. Infrastructure is thus a necessary ingredient for modeling co-evolution of human and water in sociohydrological systems. A conceptual framework to address this gap has been proposed by Anderies, Janssen, and Ostrom (2004). Here we develop a model to operationalize the framework and report some preliminary results. Simple in its setup, the model highlights the structure of the social dilemmas and how it affects the system’s sustainability. The model also offers a platform to explore how the system’s sustainability may respond to external shocks from globalization and global climate change.