Fresh water is an essential and often scarce resource, and ensuring its optimum use and availability for sanitation, drinking, manufacturing, leisure, and agriculture requires significant planning. RAND research on water resources management has focused on flooding in Vietnam, scarcity along the Colorado River Basin, California's water plan, and Qatar's environmental needs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan to guide the state's coastal investments and help its coastal citizens plan for the future. The plan strikes a balance between providing immediate relief to hard hit areas and laying groundwork for large-scale efforts.
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.
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.
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.
Policy Researcher David Groves describes RAND's role in helping to develop a plan to guide Louisiana's coastal investments, help its coastal citizens plan for the future, and create a sustainable coast.
An October RAND program features David Groves, a policy researcher whose work on water resources management has helped several water agencies in California address climate change in their long-term planning.
David Groves discusses an innovative approach to dealing with the many challenges that may contribute to sustainable and affordable solutions of long term water supplies in California.
The Qatar Foundation is establishing a national research institute to conduct energy, environment, and water research. This book recommends research priorities for the institute and reports on a survey of related research institutions in the region.
The 2010 Integrated Resource Plan Update developed by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District (MWD) includes a preferred resource mix as well as an adaptive management approach to monitor key trends and modify the resource mix as necessary. RAND helped the MWD determine which trends are most useful to monitor.
The Southern California Metropolitan Water District sought advice determining which trends are most useful to monitor to implement its adaptive management strategy. RAND supported Metropolitan's Blue Ribbon Commission to develop recommendations for a new business model to help the agency meet its goals over the next fifty years.
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.
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.
RAND brings together cross-disciplinary research teams to evaluate the complex issues surrounding water resources management and planning; apply innovative methods that tackle problems from multiple perspectives and address uncertainty that is often ignored; and recommend solutions that are innovative, effective, and enduring.
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.