BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

TC ACSAD: A Decision Support System for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

Report of the project:

The situation of the water supply in the Arab region is characterized by water scarcity and, at the same time, by increasing demand caused by population growth as well as expanding economy and agriculture. Furthermore, climate change models predict for the coming years even more severe conditions in the water sector, associated with rising temperatures and decreasing precipitation. The decision makers have to respond to the most urgent questions: How will the water balance change in time and which action is required to achieve a sustainable water supply? A Decision Support System (DSS), based on computational models, renders assistance in this complex issue.

Results of pilot study Zabadani Basin, SyriaResults of pilot study Zabadani Basin, Syria

In the framework of a technical cooperation project with the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) a DSS has been developed, which mainly consists of two components: the water evaluation and planning software WEAP (Water Evaluation And Planning System), developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) ( and the 3-d groundwater flow model MODFLOW, developed by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). Elements of water demand (cities, industry, irrigation, environment,...) and water resources (precipitation, rivers, groundwater, reservoirs, desalinization plants,...) are depicted and combined in the WEAP schematic. WEAP calculates the water balance on different scales - in each element up to the whole catchment. Additionally, aspects of cost and quality can be considered.

The future development of the water balance can easily be simulated by the scenario manager, taking into account socio-economic conditions and climate change. The linkage with MODFLOW enables a spatially and temporally discritized prediction of groundwater tables, flows and storage, which is of special interest in arid and semi arid regions.

The WEAP-MODFLOW Decision Support System has been improved continuously. Present developments aim at the integration of the simple particle tracking model MODPATH (developed by USGS), the optimization of abstraction rates with consideration of quality, drawdown and cost (ALL_WATER_gw) and an additional extensive soil water balance model, called MABIA.

Download the WEAP software tool on




(Remark: the Modflow2Weap tool is replaced by LinkKitchen. Please contact us for former software and tutorial versions.)


Contact 1:

Dipl.-Hydr. Marcel Gaj
Phone: +49-(0)511-643-2477
Fax: +49-(0)511-643-2304

Contact 2:

Dr.-Ing. Sara Ines Vassolo
Phone: +49-(0)511-643-2818
Fax: +49-(0)511-643-2304

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