Environmental and Natural Resource Management

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The use and conservation of natural resources such as water, land, soil, plants, and animals affects a multitude of industries, from agriculture and mining to tourism, fishing, and forestry. RAND researchers concerned about ecosystems and sustainability pursue studies in flooding, nuclear energy, drought, coastal restoration, and more in their quest to mitigate the potential adverse effects of mismanagement.

Explore Environmental and Natural Resource Management

  • Report

    RAND Review Examines Water Management, Military Caregivers, Joint Aircraft, Income Inequality

    Stories in RAND's flagship magazine discuss the implications of climate change for the Colorado River Basin and the Sierra Nevada, the burdens borne by military caregivers, the drawbacks of joint aircraft programs, and growing inequalities across the European Union.

    Apr 1, 2014

  • Periodical

    High and Dry? From the Rockies to the Sierra, Water Managers Gauge Implications of Climate Change

    Case studies of the Colorado River Basin and the Sierra Nevada show how water managers can factor climate change — and the uncertainty surrounding it — into their long-term plans.

    Apr 1, 2014

  • Project

    Decisionmaking Under Uncertainty in the Colorado River Basin

    RAND worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to explore the use of Robust Decision Making in the Bureau's long-term planning for the Colorado River.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • Report

    Robust Decision Making Enables Colorado River Planners to Ensure Water Reliability

    The Colorado River Basin Study evaluated the river system's resiliency and compared resource management options. The Robust Decision Making methodology helped to identify vulnerabilities and compare portfolios of options.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • Report

    Simplified RDM Approaches Can Help Local Water Agencies Plan for Climate Change

    Robust Decision Making showed El Dorado Irrigation District managers the results of key trade-offs among future strategies and how expectations for future vulnerable conditions can guide decisions to augment their long-term plan.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • Report

    Monopoly and Micro-Irrigation in Smallholder Water Markets

    Many rural agricultural areas around the world are facing severely depleted groundwater resources, which farmers rely on for irrigation. This dissertation explores the changes that would follow a move to formalize water markets and establish tradable water rights.

    Oct 30, 2013

  • Report

    An Outline of Strategies for Building an Innovation System for Knowledge City - Chinese Translation (traditional characters)

    Knowledge City is a planned environmentally and technologically advanced city in China's Guangzhou Development District. This report (translated into traditional Chinese characters) outlines a strategy to help the city attract and retain high-tech firms and their workers.

    Jul 26, 2013

  • Blog

    San Onofre Risk Factors

    The ongoing effort to open a spent fuel repository in the U.S. demonstrates the magnitude of the technical and political challenges of such an undertaking, writes Tom LaTourrette.

    Jun 20, 2013

  • Report

    Using RDM Strategies for the California Water Plan Update

    This report describes a proof-of-concept analysis using Robust Decision Making to evaluate water resource management response packages for California's Central Valley under future uncertainty for the California Water Plan Update 2013.

    Jun 13, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Flood Risk Management in Ho Chi Minh City

    Ho Chi Minh City faces significant and growing flood risk. Recent risk reduction efforts may not work if climate and socio-economic conditions diverge from earlier projections. Robust decisionmaking can help Vietnam's capital develop integrated flood risk management strategies despite this uncertainty.

    May 1, 2013

  • Testimony

    The Relationship between Natural Resources and China's Maritime Disputes

    Media and policy sources often cite natural resources as a primary driver of tensions in the South and East China Seas. In reality, the region’s hydrocarbon potential is moderate. Resource issues function primarily as focal points for more powerful underlying drivers of domestic political legitimacy, popular nationalism, and regional order.

    Apr 4, 2013

  • Journal Article

    New Methods to Implement Multi-Attribute RDM

    Many objective robust decision making (MORDM) combines concepts and methods from many objective evolutionary optimization and robust decision making (RDM), along with extensive use of interactive visual analytics, to facilitate the management of complex environmental systems.

    Apr 1, 2013

  • Research Brief

    Robust Decision Making Aids Planning Under Deep Uncertainty

    Quantitative analysis is often indispensable to sound planning, but with deep uncertainty, predictions can lead decisionmakers astray. Robust Decision Making supports good decisions without predictions by testing plans against many futures.

    Feb 28, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Planning Tool Supports Effort to Envision the Future of Coastal Louisiana

    A computer-based decision-support tool, called the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Planning Tool, provided technical analysis that supported the development of Louisiana's 2012 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast through CPRA and community-based deliberations.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Blog

    New Colorado River Basin Study Examines Tremendous Challenges of the Coming 50 Years

    Growing water needs combined with uncertain but possibly deteriorating future hydrologic conditions could stress the Colorado River system in the coming 50 years. Options that could be effective in improving it include urban conservation, agricultural conservation, and groundwater desalination.

    Dec 18, 2012

  • Blog

    What Louisiana Can Teach New York and New Jersey

    “Super Storm” Sandy has created a rare moment when New York City and surrounding areas are singularly focused on the infrastructure needed in a changing environment. It is a moment to look south at Louisiana.

    Nov 8, 2012

  • Report

    Planning Tool Supports Louisiana's Coastal Protection Decisionmaking

    The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Planning Tool that RAND developed provided technical analysis for Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. A technical description of the tool and associated analyses explains how the tool works.

    Sep 27, 2012

  • Report

    Creating an Innovation System for Knowledge City

    Knowledge City is a planned environmentally and technologically advanced city in China's Guangzhou Development District. This report introduces innovation systems and clusters, describes the factors that led to the successes of Silicon Valley, the life sciences corridor in Maryland, and the Israeli technology cluster, and uses findings from those cases and other research to outline the steps GDD will need to take to make Knowledge City a success.

    Sep 20, 2012

  • Report

    Strategies for Building an Innovation System for China's Knowledge City

    Knowledge City is a planned environmentally and technologically advanced city in China's Guangzhou Development District. RAND worked with GDD to outline a set of strategies to help the city attract and retain high-tech firms and workers and to ensure the availability of innovation-oriented financing.

    Sep 20, 2012