Risk-based operational water management for the Incomati River basin
In heavily committed basins with many different water use(r)s located in different riparian countries strong interdependencies exist, whereby water allocation decisions have important economic, social, environmental and political consequences. Decision-making involve difficult tradeoffs, for which decision-support tools exist that are frequently based on optimising an economic objective function subject to constraints representing, among other things, hydrological processes. Large variability of rainfall, both within and between years, leads to even larger variations in river flow and adds uncertainty to the water allocation equation.
The Riskoman research project aims to assist water managers and stakeholders in identifying, implementing and continuously adjusting efficient allocation policies in a dynamic and uncertain hydrologic environment. Thereto, an innovative policy support system will be developed that integrates the physical, social and economical dimensions of the allocation problem while explicitly considering the hydrologic and climate uncertainties. This policy support system will improve the quality of information upon which managers can develop hedging strategies in order to reduce the risk exposure of the various water users. This policy support system will be developed and tested for one particular river basin, namely the Incomati river basin.

The project partners are UNESCO-IHE, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique), University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and the Komati Basin Authority.