Model based decision support system for land use changes and socio-economic assessments

Yang Yu, Xi Chen, Philipp Huttner, Marie Hinnenthal, Andreas Brieden, Lingxiao Sun, Markus Disse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Hydrological models are often linked with other models in cognate sciences to understand the interactions among climate, earth, water, ecosystem, and human society. This paper presents the development and implementation of a decision support system (DSS) that links the outputs of hydrological models with real-time decision making on social-economic assessments and land use management. Discharge and glacier geometry changes were simulated with hydrological model, water availability in semiarid environments. Irrigation and ecological water were simulated by a new commercial software MIKE HYDRO. Groundwater was simulated by MODFLOW. All the outputs of theses hydrological models were taken as inputs into the DSS in three types of links: regression equations, stationary data inputs, or dynamic data inputs as the models running parallel in the simulation periods. The DSS integrates the hydrological data, geographic data, social and economic statistical data, and establishes the relationships with equations, conditional statements and fuzzy logics. The programming is realized in C++. The DSS has four remarkable features: (1) editable land use maps to assist decision-making; (2) conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources; (3) interactions among water, earth, ecosystem, and humans; and (4) links with hydrological models. The overall goal of the DSS is to combine the outputs of scientific models, knowledge of experts, and perspectives of stakeholders, into a computer-based system, which allows sustainability impact assessment within regional planning; and to understand ecosystem services and integrate them into land and water management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Arid Land
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Tarim River Basin
  • decision support system
  • ecosystem services
  • hydrological modeling
  • land management
  • socio-economic indicator


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