Companion Modeling, Conflict Resolution, and Institution Building: Sharing Irrigation Water in the Lingmuteychu Watershed, Bhutan

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2006
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Abstract
"We used multi-agent systems (MAS), following the companion modeling method, to facilitate water management negotiations in Bhutan. We show how this methodology helped resolve a conflict over the sharing of water resources by establishing a concrete agreement and creating an institution for collective watershed management. The conceptual model begins with a role-playing game (RPG). The stakeholders play the game, thus validating the proposed environment, the behavioral rules, and the emergent properties of the game. It is then relatively easy to translate the RPG into computerized MAS that allow different scenarios to be explored. After this first step in the MAS model, stakeholders then create an institution. A second model is developed to facilitate this process. We conclude by discussing the relationship between the models and reality, as well as the use of MAS as a mediation tool and the social process."
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adaptive systems, watersheds, natural resources, resource management
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