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Collaborative modeling for decision support in water resources: Principles and best practices

TitleCollaborative modeling for decision support in water resources: Principles and best practices
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLangsdale S, Beall A, Bourget E, Hagen E, Kudlas S, Palmer RN, Tate D, Werick W
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Start Page629
Date Published06/2013
Keywordscollaborative modeling, conflict resolution, Decision support systems, Mediated Modeling, participatory modeling, planning, Public participation, Shared Vision Planning

Collaborative Modeling for Decision Support integrates collaborative modeling with participatory processes to inform natural resources decisions. Practitioners and advocates claim that the approach will lead to better water management, balancing interests more effectively and reducing the likelihood of costly legal delays. These claims are easy to make, but the benefits will only be realized if the process is conducted effectively. To provide guidance for how to conduct an effective collaborative modeling process, a task committee cosponsored by the Environmental Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers and by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Institute for Water Resources developed a set of Principles and Best Practices for anyone who might convene or conduct collaborative modeling processes. The guidance is intended for both conflict resolution professionals and modelers, and our goal is to integrate these two fields in a way that will improve water resources planning and decision making. Here, the set of eight principles is presented along with a selection of associated best practices, illustrated by two different case examples.