A Decision-Analytic Approach to Managing Climate Risks: Application to the Upper Great Lakes

Authors


  • Paper No. JAWRA-10-0073-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA).Discussions are open until six months from print publication.

(E-Mail/Brown: cbrown@ecs.umass.edu).

Abstract

Brown, Casey, William Werick, Wendy Leger, and David Fay, 2011. A Decision-Analytic Approach to Managing Climate Risks: Application to the Upper Great Lakes. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 47(3):524-534. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00552.x

Abstract:  In this paper, we present a risk analysis and management process designed for use in water resources planning and management under climate change. The process incorporates climate information through a method called decision-scaling, whereby information related to climate projections is tailored for use in a decision-analytic framework. The climate risk management process begins with the identification of vulnerabilities by asking stakeholders and resource experts what water conditions they could cope with and which would require substantial policy or investment shifts. The identified vulnerabilities and thresholds are formalized with a water resources systems model that relates changes in the physical climate conditions to the performance metrics corresponding to vulnerabilities. The irreducible uncertainty of climate change projections is addressed through a dynamic management plan embedded within an adaptive management process. Implementation of the process is described as applied in the ongoing International Upper Great Lakes Study.

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