17 March 2017

Advanced prototype of a new simulation game to be tested

IIASA researchers will be testing an advanced prototype of a new Water-Energy Nexus game. The game may help to improve water management and the resilience of water systems by providing participants with insights into the challenges of managing the water needs of energy production. 



The Water-Energy Nexus game is a simulation game that gives players a strategic overview of the interconnections between water and energy in the context of security and sustainability at the transboundary level. It has been developed as a training tool to be used in workshops targeting energy sector professionals (e.g., those working in ministries, power plants, and capacity building institutions), and serves to address water-energy issues such as reducing the water footprint of energy and food production, maintaining wetlands ecosystem services, and transboundary basin management challenges. The development of this games part of a larger IIASA project that is examining the utility of simulation games as a method for understanding stakeholder interaction and decision-making in complex systems. An advanced prototype of the game is now ready for testing, which will take place at IIASA this week.

Overview of the Water-Energy Nexus game

When playing the game, participants have to address different water needs of the population, industry, and agriculture, while at the same time facing challenges of climate change.  Players take on the roles of policy makers in two countries that have access to the same river.  They then have to match the increasing water demand with adequate supply.  Achieving this balance requires effective collaboration and exchange of information between stakeholders both within and between the countries.  Given that the outcomes of both countries are interconnected, the game provides an opportunity for practicing conflict resolution and cooperation at the international level. 

Benefits of the game:

  • Learning about the problem of balancing increasing water demand and conflicts between different sectors and countries surrounding water supply
  • Experiencing problems and opportunities connected with transitions in complex systems with multiple stakeholders
  • Discovering the potential of new technologies for increasing energy- and water-use efficiency
  • Practicing collaboration between various stakeholders with different goals, representing different organizations


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Last edited: 24 May 2017


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