Negotiation and active involvement with participation of water managers, experts, stakeholders and representatives of the general public requires decision support tools (Environmental Decision Support Systems; EDSS) that build on transparency and flexibility in order to reach sound action plans and management instruments. One possible EDSS for active involvement of stakeholders is application of Bayesian networks (Bns). The paper gives an example of a case study (The Danish case) where farmers and hydrologists disputed the degree to which pesticide application affected the quality of deep groundwater. Instead of selecting one opinion or another, the decision was made to include both in the Bns. By adopting this approach, it was possible to view the results from either point of view, accepting the reality of the situation, not becoming mired in an insoluble conflict, and in this way laying the foundation for future compromises. The paper explores Bns as a tool for acting on and dealing with management of groundwater protection. Bns allow stakeholders' divergent values, interests and beliefs to be surfaced and negotiated in participatory processes for areas where conventional physically based groundwater models are insufficient due to lack of data, physical understanding, flexibility or lack of integration capability. In this way, the agency will be able to address the institutional arrangement influencing groundwater protection in all its complexity.
- Programområde 2: Vandressourcer