The overall goal of GLOWA Volta is to develop, in close collaboration with our local and international partners, a scientific information system that will integrate knowledge and provide decision support for the planning, management and use of water resources in the Volta basin.
This signifies a whole process of building a Decision Support System (DSS) through continuous interactions between the project scientists, our local research partners, the policy makers and individual stakeholders.
The creation of a DSS also involves important decisions about the coupling of the different models and model outputs, which is what the term "technical integration" refers to.
Different levels of decision support in a river basin with polycentric water governance:
Water management and allocation within the Volta River Basin is characterised by a large number of actors and institutions, as well as the absence of a comprehensive water management framework.
Although National Water Administrations underwent crucial reforms beginning in the 1980s it was not until 2006 that the Volta Basin Commission was established with a mandate for the management of trans-boundary water resources.
Historically, official actors often lacked the resources for the implementation of water management policies. Decentralisation and the (informal) power of local actors contribute to a situation of polycentric water resource governance.
Thus, scientific decision support has to target different audiences (see table) with different demands at different scales.
- At the basin-scale, the GVP provides an innovative data management system, and the Volta Basin Water Allocation System (VB-WAS) that takes into account climate change.
- At the national sub-basin scale the GVP has developed data management services and National Water Allocation Systems (N-WAS) that can model the impact of climate change and optimise water allocation decisions.
- At the regional sub-basin scale, the White Volta Water Allocation System (WV-WAS) models the impact of increasing water storage and irrigation development in the White Volta Basin.
In order to capture the impact of land use changes, an innovative model projects local socio-economic, ecological, and hydrological impacts of land use and climate change into the future.
These initiatives aim at providing a network for information exchange, as well as capacity building, and knowledge exchange for the large number of stakeholders, and institutions and programs involved.