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Water Diplomacy by Water Diplomat

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Pete Epanchin

May 7, 2015


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Thank you for submitting your proposal! I enjoyed reading it and I look forward to its continued evolution. I have some questions, in part out of my own curiosity but also I hope that the questions might strengthen your proposal if you were to address them. You mention that Water Diplomat gets better as it is used more. Please explain. Machine learning? What does software as a service mean? Is there a cost for people to run the Water Diplomat model? If so, can you state the cost or would it be free for the lakes that would be targeted through this proposal, were it to win? How will you decide which lake committees to target? For the lakes you have already identified as ones you'd like to begin with, please include the country/countries where they are located. Your pilot of Urmia Lake is very intriguing and I would love to hear lessons learned and what variables your model used for that case. And of course, how the model deals with contradictory water management policies would be very interesting. Is this dealt with by running multiple scenarios reflective of each policy?

Mahdi Zarghami

May 8, 2015


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Hi Dr. Pete, Thank you for your kind and insightful comments. Here I are answers: - The methodology of Water Diplomat is based on System Dynamics. System dynamics is a modeling approach which is based on feedbacks. Then the model user should consider the feedbacks from other users and also externality of policies. Therefore by considering them in the revised model it will help the modeler and stakeholders to better understand the problem and also improve its application. This "learning loop" is well described the in the first chapter of this book: Sterman 2000, Business Dynamics, McGraw Hill. -Software as a service means that the customers could receive the software AND also scientific (not just technical) support when using the software for modeling. -The model itself could be provided free for the customers. Then the revenue comes from consulting for the lake restoration program. They could be charged based on man-hour. -The Water Diplomat is a "service" that will provided in the "market". Then the main selection is done by the water organizations. However the initial target market is as follows: Lake Chad, in central Africa, Urmia Lake in Iran, Flathead Lake, Montana, USA and Lake Hamoun between Afghanistan and Iran. -Thank you so much for your kind interest in the case of Urmia Lake. The paper, representing the application of Water Diplomat on this specific case will be presented in the following conference in July and then after the event you can easily download the paper from their website. Personally I will be happy to send you when the paper get ready. To get familiar with the Urmia Lake problem please read this link: The initial paper on the application of System Dynamics on this lake is also published in this link: Thank you again.