Water quality information system for integrated water resource management

Tukker, Mary Jean
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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The processes of monitoring, modelling and managing the water quality of a catchmerit system including all its unique complexities and interrelationships requires an innovative tool or set of tools to help water managers with their decision making. Numerous methods and tools have been developed to analyse and model the real world. However, many of these tools require a fair degree of technical expertise and training to operate correctly and their output may have to be translated or converted to meaningful information for decision-making using a further set of analytical and graphical display tools. A more appropriate technique for management would be to combine all these functions into a single system. The objective of this research was to develop one such tool, an integrated water quality information system (WQIS). A review of the literature revealed that there has been extensive research and development of tools for the management of individual aspects of water resource distribution, augmentation and quality. However, these tools have rarely been integrated into a comprehensive information system offering decision support to a wide variety of river users and managers. Many of the literature sources also noted that a process of interactive development and integration (i.e. including the intended users in the decision of which components to include, the interface design and the graphical display and output) was vital to ensuring the information system becomes an integral part of the users routine work and decision-making. The WQIS was developed using the recommendations from numerous knowledgeable persons in response to questionnaires, interviews and a prototype demonstration. It includes the results of hydrodynamic river and reservoir simulations and the ability to perform operational river scenario testing. However, the development process is continual and always evolving based on the current or local requirements of water managers. These further developments and research needs are discussed in more detail in the conclusion.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die proses om die waterkwaliteit van 'n opvanggebied, met al die unieke kompleksiteite en onderlinge verhoudings van so 'n stelsel te monitor, modelleer en bestuur, vereis 'n innoverende instrument om waterbestuurders te ondersteun in hul besluitnemings. Talle instrumente en metodes vir die ontleding en modellering van die werklikheid is reeds ontwikkel. Die gebruik van hierdie instrumente vereis gewoonlik 'n redelike mate van tegniese kundigheid en opleiding. Dit mag verder nodig wees om die uitvoer van sulke instrumente te vertaal en/of om te skakel na betekenisvolle inligting vir besluitneming deur die gebruik van bykomende analitiese en grafiese vertoon instrumente. 'n Meer toepaslike bestuurstegniek sou wees om al die funksies in 'n enkele stelsel te kombineer. Die doel van hierdie navorsing was om een so 'n instrument, naamlik 'n geïntegreerde waterkwaliteit inligtingstelsel (WQIS), te ontwikkel. 'n Hersiening van bestaande literatuur het getoon dat daar omvattende navorsing en ontwikkeling van instrumente gedoen is vir die bestuur van individuele aspekte van waterbronverspreiding, waterbronaanvulling en waterkwaliteit. Integrasie van hierdie instrumente, in 'n uitgebreide stelsel wat besluitnemingsondersteuning aan 'n verskeidenheid riviergebruikers en bestuurders bied, kom egter selde voor. Verskeie literatuurbronne het ook aangedui dat 'n proses van interaktiewe ontwikkeling en integrasie (m.a.w. in agname van die voorgenome gebruikers se behoeftes in die kense van komponente, die gebruiker raakvlak ontwerp en grafiese vertoon instrumente en uitvoer) noodsaaklik is om te verseker dat die inigtingstelsel 'n integrale deel word van die gebruiker se daaglikse roetine en besluitnemingsproses. Die WQIS is ontwikkel deur gebruikmaking van die insette en aanbevelings van verskeie kenners in reaksie op vraelyste, onderhoude en 'n demonstrasie van 'n prototype. Dit sluit in die resultate van hidro-dinamiese rivier en dam simulasies en die vermoë om operasionele rivier scenario ontledings uit te voer. Die ontwikkeling is egter 'n deurlopende proses, gebaseer op huidige of plaaslike behoeftes van waterbestuurders. Hierdie verdere ontwikkelings- en navorsingsbehoeftes word meer breedvoerig in die gevolgtrekkings bespreek.
Thesis (MEng)--University of Stellenbosch, 2000.
Water quality management, Water-supply -- Management, Water quality information system (WQIS), Dissertations -- Civil engineering, Theses -- Civil engineering