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.
Research conducted by:
RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment;
Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program
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The Colorado River Basin Study evaluated the river system's resiliency and compared resource management options using the Robust Decision Making methodology.
Journal Articles (24)
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.
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.
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.
The use of biomass for energy production has increasingly been encouraged in the United States, in part motivated by the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to fossil fuels.
This paper provides a framework for incorporating uncertainty analysis specifically into estimates of the life cycle GHG emissions from the production of biomass.
Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that consumers do respond to changes in marginal price. Doubling marginal price leads to a 12% decrease in water use (500 cubic feet per bill) among high-use households.
The authors present the concept of robust decision making (RDM), which draws on already-existing knowledge of practitioners to choose actions that are viable in both the short- and long-term.
Examines 20th Century hydrology in the Uinta Mountains region in the context of previous centuries as well as possible relationships with Pacific and Atlantic Ocean variability using new tree-ring based reconstructions for streamflow and snowpack.
This paper describes work helping the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) explicitly develop adaptive policies to respond to climate change and integrating these policies into the organizations' long-range planning processes.
Climate change may impact water resources management conditions in difficult-to-predict ways. A key challenge for water managers is how to incorporate highly uncertain information about potential climate change from global models into local- and regional-scale water management models and tools to support local planning.
Water managers in Southern California, who grapple with how to address climate change in their near-term and long-term plans, are beginning to seek methods for incorporating such changes in their planning processes.
Description of a new analytic method, based on robust decisionmaking, that could be applied to water resource management in California and climate change policy questions.
Coping with global change, providing clean water for growing populations, and disposing of nuclear waste are difficult public policy challenges.
RAND conducted a two-year National Science Foundation-supported analysis with Southern California's Inland Empire Utilities Agency to evaluate alternative approaches for addressing climate change in long term water planning.
This study performs a standard econometric analysis on the simulation model outputs from six scenarios from the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) to assess the extent to which the projected CO 2 and NO x emissions reflect Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) behavior.
Probability-based estimates can have serious limitations when applied to a problem such as climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should also consider approaches to decision-making under conditions of uncertainty that do not depend on expert consensus on probabilities.
In this chapter the authors argue for a different approach to climate-change policy and thus a different use for forecasts.
Recommendation for use of ensembles of multiple scenarios to capture what is known about the long-term climate future.
Many governments use technology incentives as an important component of their greenhouse gas abatement strategies.
This paper presents two optimization models for hazardous waste capacity planning and treatment facility locations.