Sydney Water plays Sustainable Delta game

Published: 19 April 2018

Changes in frequency, distribution, intensity and duration of climate-related events poses potential risks and opportunities to Sydney Water, the largest water and wastewater service provider of Australia. Climate change is just one example of uncertainty about future developments that Sydney Water is facing. At the same time Sydney Water needs to make investment decisions that can have long term (financial) consequences. Facing these challenges, Sydney Water needs more than traditional prediction or scenario-based decision methods to help them to evaluate alternatives and make decisions. The Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP) approach aims to support the development of an adaptive plan that is able to deal with conditions of deep uncertainties.

To introduce this tool, Sydney Water and Deltares held a training and teambuilding event with about 70 people. The participants played the Sustainable Delta game, a serious game that helps to better understand water systems and their related restoration and protection measures. It teaches players the importance of negotiation in decision making as well as how to make smarter investment decisions given an uncertain future. After this first-hand experience, we investigated the full DAPP methodology and applied its first steps on a concrete case from Sydney Water:, the development of Western Sydney.


It was a full day, where participants shared many good ideas and new insights. The DAPP methodology, and its visualisation as a “metro map”, fits well with the existing tools of Sydney Water. Soon a follow up workshop will be organized to work even more focused, in a small group of participants on this issue.

Do you want more information about the tools or get in touch with us to find how the tool can help you?  Check out the video about the Deltagame below, read about our work with the Adaptive Pathways  or contact us.