Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Michael Sukop

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Assefa Melesse

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Freshwater, System Dynamics, Modeling, Watersheds, Resource Management

Date of Defense



Globally, the current state of freshwater resource management is insufficient and impeding the chance at a sustainable future. Human interference within the natural hydrologic cycle is becoming dangerously irreversible and the need to redefine resource managerial approaches is imminent.

This research involves the development of a coupled natural-human freshwater resource supply model using a System Dynamics approach. The model was applied to two case studies, Somalia, Africa and the Phoenix Active Management Area in Arizona, USA. It is suggested that System Dynamic modeling would be an invaluable tool for achieving sustainable freshwater resource management in individual watersheds. Through a series of thought experiments, a thorough understanding of the systems’ dynamic behaviors is obtainable for freshwater resource managers and policy-makers to examine various courses of action for alleviating freshwater supply concerns. This thesis reviews the model, its development and an analysis of several thought experiments applied to the case studies.





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