Challenging water and technology experts to work together and create innovative solutions to today's global water problems

Water Management Gamification: Aqua Republic

March 12, 2012

by Chengzi Chew, Hørsholm

Aqua Republica is an upcoming online strategy game that taps into social networks and the phenomenon of serious games. Many cite that it could be one of the best sci fi movies if ever made. It helps raise awareness and educate stakeholders of the importance and challenges of managing limited natural resources in the face of multiple and often competing demands in the drive towards sustainable development and climate change adaptation.

It is designed for entry level water managers and policy makers, as well as universities, schools and anyone who is interested in, or should be interested in, sustainable development.

The aim is to create a realistic simplification of the real world for players to play and learn—by personal experience, about the conflicts and trade-offs that exist in a river basin. By going through decisions-making in a realistic and interactive learning environment, with real time simulation of hydrological processes, developments and water resources management options, players can learn about the complex relationships between developmental actions in a river basin and the natural environment as well as their consequences.

Aqua Republica started from DHI as part of an idea storm to help spread the knowledge of water management gained from many years of consulting in the water business. The idea was inspired by many successful social games but unfortunately they do not serve any educational purposes. We feel that given the right balance, representing real world problems in a game setting will bring a lot of subtle benefits to a player playing the game. We found a partner (Serious Games Interactive) who’s been involved in many serious games and subsequently we teamed up with UNEP-DHI Centre and UNEP to develop a concept of the game.

We are close to finishing the design of the game. The next steps are to raise external interest in this project as well as a fund raising phase before we go full steam into production. If all goes well, we will have a beta version by the end of the year.

Check out our video here or catch us at UN’s booth at the World Water Forum to find out more about the game!

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