The management of water in systems where the balance between resources and demands is already precarious can pose a challenge and it can be easily disrupted by drought episodes. Anticipated drought management has proved to be one of the main strategies to reduce their impact. Drought economic, environmental, and social impacts affect different sectors that are often interconnected. There is a need for water management models able to acknowledge the complex interactions between multiple sectors, activities, and variables to study the response of water resource systems to drought management strategies. System dynamics (SD) is a modeling methodology that facilitates the analysis of interactions and feedbacks within and between sectors. Although SD has been applied for water resource management, there is a lack of SD models able to regulate complex water resource systems on a monthly time scale and considering multiple reservoir operating rules, demands, and policies. In this paper, we present an SD model for the strategic planning of drought management in the Jucar River system, incorporating dynamic reservoir operating rules, policies, and drought management strategies triggered by a system state index. The DSS combines features from early warning and information systems, allowing for the simulation of drought strategies, evaluating their economic impact, and exploring new management options in the same environment. The results for the historical period show that drought early management can be beneficial for the performance of the system, monitoring the current state of the system, and activating drought management measures results in a substantial reduction of the economic impact of droughts.
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