|Ph.D Student||Kronaveter Lea|
|Subject||A Negotiation Support System for Resolution of Disputes|
over International Water Resources
|Department||Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Uri Shamir|
A Negotiation Support System (NSS) is developed, to assist bilateral negotiations over scarce international water resources. It combines an economically based water allocation optimization model, multi-objective utility functions, tools of decision analysis and of Game Theory. Conflicts over international waters are, in many cases, caused by potential or actual water scarcity. The NSS is predicated on the finding that apparent water scarcity can result from inefficient management of the joint resource, and that concepts of water markets and rational negotiations have a potential to increase the efficiency of water utilization and thereby decrease conflicts.
The NSS consists of two main processes: individual decision-making and joint problem solving. In the first, each party structures its system of preferences and creates its utility function using the AHP algorithm (Saaty, 1980). The economic benefits from each resource sharing alternative is generated by the Water Allocation System WAS (Fisher et al., 2002) that allocates water while maximizing total social net benefit from water supply to all consumers in a defined region. The various objectives, with the economic objective being one of them, are combined into a single utility value. Joint problem solving is modeled as an interaction between the parties in utility space, in which they have the opportunity to design and select efficient and jointly preferred solutions, aided by tools of Game Theory. Individual and joint activities are repeated in a sequence of iterations, which terminate when a stable negotiation solution is reached.
The NSS was tested in simulation experiments, which showed that economic considerations can represent an attractive way of "enlarging the pie” in negotiations over the allocation of scarce water resources, and that the components of the NSS have the potential to improve the communication and information exchange between the parties, as well as their creativity in searching for alternative negotiation solutions.