Simulating Water, Individuals, and Management using a coupled and distributed approach


Water is a key issue in sustainable urban development. SWIM (Simulating Water, Individuals and Management) is an agent-based model of water supply, management structure, and residential water consumer perception and behavior. Initial work applied data mining on newspaper articles to map networks of water management institutions and structures. SWIM extends this by linking an agent-based model of residential water consumption connected via networks of water managers to a global-scale hydrological model. In our case study, we focus on Tucson, Arizona, where management and social behaviors are well documented. Census data are used to create synthetic populations of consumers endowed with price sensitivity and behaviors impacting water use. Social networks, including those based on geographic proximity, allow water use behaviors to spread to others. We examine possible factors leading to recent attested declines in per-capita water use, leveraging ensemble runs on high-performance computing resources using the Swift parallel scripting language to strategically explore complex parameter spaces.


Earth Systems Research Center

Publication Date


Journal Title

Proceedings of the Winter Simulation Conference 2014



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type

Conference Proceeding