Application of the Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) Approach in Water Resource Management Research: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Future Research Directions

  • Ali KharraziEmail author
  • Tomohiro Akiyama


Population growth, climate change, and conflicting demand by industry and agriculture are increasingly straining our planet’s water resources. In this light, there is a need to advance holistic approaches and objective tools which allow policymakers to better evaluate system-level properties and trade-offs of water resources. This chapter contributes to the expanding literature in this area by highlighting water resource management strategies based on the ecological network analysis (ENA) approach. This chapter overviews the theoretical underpinnings of the ENA approach and its application, limitations, and weaknesses for water resource management research. Furthermore, through the case study of the Heihe River Basin, this chapter demonstrates how to examine system-level properties and their trade-offs relevant to the resilience of water services. The ENA approach considers holistic trade-offs that may be used to evaluate alternative water recycling and saving scenarios. This approach can complement multiple criteria decision-making framework and scenario planning approaches and can be beneficial in developing new applicable water resource management strategies.


Resilience River basin Water network Ecological network analysis Water policy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advanced Systems Analysis GroupInternational Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria
  2. 2.The University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Socio-Cultural Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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