Water models are used to inform a wide range of decision making processes, including policy, planning and management decisions, and to assess likely impacts from external drivers, such as rainfall change, sea level rise or population growth through migration.
Water models and their outputs, are used by a range of people in the sector, including:
As computational and analytical tools, models enable model users to explore different scenarios – options for policy, planning or management action, or potential future conditions.
The models themselves are usually not directly used by key decision makers. Rather, they often use the model outputs – data, information and analysis – embedded in reports to inform their thinking and assessment.
In this sense, there are two broad uses for models. The first is using models as a tool for exploring scenarios. The second as a tool for producing information to input into decision making processes. Both meanings of model use are valid and occur.