After a hiatus in dam investment, through the 1990s and the early part of this century, construction of large dams is increasing again. Modern decision support systems can usefully input to this process by guiding the analysis of complicated hydrological, environmental, social and economic factors associated with water allocation and assessing the impact of different, often conflicting, management options both in planning and operation of dams. This publication highlights the constructive role that decision support systems can play in planning and operation of dams. It illustrates the importance of considering environmental and social issues in decision making so that positive benefits of large dams can be maximized and the negative impacts minimized.
The report draws heavily on case studies undertaken for the CPWF study. However, where points are better illustrated with examples taken from elsewhere in Africa, this has been done. Key messages are presented at the start of each chapter.
CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, Sri Lanka. Research for development series, R4D paper 02. 86 pp.