An analysis of the characteristic goals, strategies and rules of behavior of relevant stakeholders allows the efficacy and potential risks of past and current engineering and management concepts to be estimated. The study is driven by the observable shift from security to cost-centered strategies by water utilities and the difficulties of balancing technical and financial needs in an uncertain future. Its benefits include a methodology with a twofold result. With the aid of domain knowledge from experts involved in a participatory process, the interactions of a subset of stakeholders are quantified and documented in a rule catalog. This leads to an improved understanding of their decision-making rules. An agent-based model comprising these stakeholders' rules of behavior in subsequently development. Once the model is validated with data sets from a real utility, multiple-scenario testing helps to explore different strategies and can be used to generate ideas for developing flexible management and design schemes. Despite the complexity of the system described, simple model rules which are repeated annually can replicate the general development of both capacity and cost-related parameters. Scenario simulations show the effects of different management strategies on key parameters such as capacity, water price and financial debt.

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