Educational Water Trading Games: Simulation Software and Future Potential

This document summarizes the design of an educational water trading game. The intention of the game is to educate participants about how regulations for fresh water quality and quantity might function.

The trading game was developed to help establish a dialogue between the users of fresh water: farmers and firm managers, and the regulators of fresh water: local government and councils.

Two versions of the educational game were developed, each for separate locations in New Zealand.

  • The Hawkes Bay version of the game focuses on the seasonality of water availability; participants must manage irrigation on their farms in each half of the year.
  • The Upper Waikato version of the game focuses on the interaction between the quantity of water taken for irrigation and the quality of water; participants manage consents for both water take and nutrient loss.

We first discuss the simulation platform used to run the games. This is a computer based platform, requiring each participant (and the simulation manager) to have access to a computer. Second, we describe the scenarios that were developed to run on the simulation platform. These scenarios are broken into three sessions for each location, with each session focusing on a different aspect of water regulation.