• Open Access

Disciplined Planning, Structured Participation, and Collaborative Modeling — Applying Shared Vision Planning to Water Resources


  • Paper No. JAWRA-12-0042-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). © 2013 American Water Resources Association. Discussions are open until six months from print publication.


Participatory planning applied to water resources has sparked significant interest and debate during the last decade. Recognition that models play a significant role in the formulation and implementation of design and management strategies has encouraged the profession to consider how such models can be best implemented. Shared Vision Planning (SVP) is a disciplined planning approach that combines traditional water resources planning methodologies with innovations such as structured public participation and the use of collaborative modeling, resulting in a more complete understanding and an integrative decision support tool. This study reviews these three basic components of SVP and explains how they are incorporated into a unified planning approach. The successful application of SVP is explored in three studies involving planning challenges: the National Drought Study, the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study, and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint/Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin Study. The article concludes by summarizing the advantages and limitations of this planning approach.