Project: Simulating tourism water consumption with stakeholders

Acronym SIMTWIST (Reference Number: WaterJPI-JC-2018_15)
Project Topic Tourism tends to be concentrated in warm and dry regions and seasons, competing with local populations, nature, agriculture and other sectors for scarce water resources. Tourism water use has long been overlooked, but has gained (renewed) interest as a result of the realities of climate change. In many tourism destinations, a sustainable water system is untenable without a central role for tourism. The proposal’s ultimate aim is to inform public and private decision-makers in tourism on the effectiveness of measures to increase water efficiency and reduce water consumption. The proposal takes a systemic and stakeholder-centred look at tourism-related water use. Systemic in the sense that it addresses both supply and demand, is interdisciplinary and dynamic, and takes feedbacks into account. Stakeholder-centred in the sense that individual stakeholders are the basic unit of analysis, putting stakeholder heterogeneity centre-stage, and that stakeholder behaviour is studied in its social and economic context. Through interviews, statistical analyses and behavioural simulations, insights are collected on how tourists and tourism stakeholders behave with respect to water use. The Companion Modelling approach that we propose provides stakeholders with a simplified but clearly recognizable spatial setting, which allows them to more easily position themselves in the socio-environmental system at hand. In our proposal, the spatial setting is constituted by the river catchments and reservoirs that provide the tourism destination with fresh water. The dynamics of these river catchments and reservoirs are represented by reservoir models as well as hydrological models. Such representation sets the scene for the water consumption work and allows for the exploration of various scenarios of future water availability. In each of the mass tourism case study areas, Benidorm (Spain) and Rimini (Italy), water supply and water demand are confronted in an Agent-Based Model. The agents in such a model are the tourism stakeholders. They exhibit different behaviour as they differ in terms of resources, relationships, perceptions, and other features. Once the current interactions between supply and demand are understood, the agent-based model is used to explore future development, for example through climate change scenarios (that influence both the supply and demand side) or the introduction of water saving policies. The agent-based model can be used as a safe laboratory for policy experimentation, testing the effectiveness of policy measures for achieving reductions in water consumption. The project will provide decision-makers with a better grasp of the way possible interventions affect the tourism water system at hand.
Network WaterWorks2017
Call Water JPI 2018 Joint Call Closing the Water Cycle Gap

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Wageningen University and Research Coordinator Netherlands
2 University of Alicante Partner Spain
3 University of Bologna Partner Italy