Projects on Water Resources Planning

Fresh water is an essential and scarce resource. Ensuring its appropriate use and availability for sanitation, drinking, manufacturing, leisure, recreation, and agriculture requires significant planning. Over the past decade, RAND has been working directly with water planners from agencies and utilities across the United States to help them address climate change and other long-term uncertain factors in their planning. In these projects, RAND has deployed novel methods that help planners to develop and evaluate water management strategies that are more robust to an uncertain future.

  • Robust Stormwater Management in the Pittsburgh Region

    Apr 24, 2017

    The city of Pittsburgh and its surrounding region face significant—and potentially growing—stormwater management challenges. Analysis can help better understand the system's vulnerabilities and identify solutions.

  • RAND Releases Evaluation of the Jinan City Water Ecological Development Implementation Plan

    Mar 9, 2017

    The Jinan Municipal Water Resources Bureau, with support from the Shandong Provincial Department of Water Resources, asked RAND to evaluate potential effects of demand and climate uncertainties on investments recently undertaken according to the Jinan City Water Ecological Development Implementation Plan. The RAND research team, led by David Groves and Debra Knopman, also assessed the potential of new investments and management strategies to help Jinan meet its long-term water resources goals.

  • Resilient Stormwater Management in Allegheny County

    Oct 2, 2015

    The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Region faces major challenges in managing its water resources, and lacks key information about climate change and future vulnerability. A framework is needed to evaluate options and identify cost-effective solutions.

  • Robust Decisionmaking May Help EPA's National Water Plan Manage Climate and Other Uncertainties

    Sep 9, 2015

    Maintaining safe and reliable water supplies depends on timely investments in water treatment, storage, and delivery infrastructure. RAND undertook a project for the EPA to determine the utility of Robust Decision Making (RDM) methods for evaluating the agency's needs and priorities under the National Water Program.

  • Enhancing the Climate Resilience of Africa's Infrastructure

    Apr 27, 2015

    Working with the World Bank, RAND researchers used robust decision methods to provide the first continent-wide evaluation of the potential effects of climate change on such investments. They also examined the potential impacts of climate change on five specific hydropower and irrigation projects.

  • WCRC Helps Organizations Plan for Climate Challenges

    Dec 18, 2014

    The RAND Water and Climate Resilience Center conducts policy research and develops innovative tools to support decisionmakers at all levels of government as they confront challenges presented by climate change.

  • Evaluating Water Management Strategies for the California Water Plan Update 2013

    Oct 30, 2014

    The California Water Plan Update 2013 presents a wealth of information about current water use and ongoing and future water management challenges in California. RAND researchers contributed to the report by evaluating the long-term water management vulnerabilities in the Central Valley and comparing alternative water management responses. The study is summarized in Volume 1, Chapter 5 of the California Water Plan and will be released in Volume 4 in early 2015.

  • Developing Robust Strategies for Climate Change and Other Risks: A Water Utility Framework

    Sep 23, 2014

    RAND researchers and collaborators present a comprehensive approach for water utilities to assess climate risks to their systems and evaluate adaptation strategies. The approach, based on Robust Decision Making (RDM) is demonstrated through pilot studies with two water utilities: Colorado Springs Utilities and New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

  • Water Management Strategies for Adapting to Climate Change

    Feb 5, 2014

    RAND is part of a research team funded by the Water Resources Foundation to develop a methodology for water agencies to assess vulnerability and develop adaptation responses to climate change. This project includes substantial analytical case studies of New York City and Colorado Springs Utility.

  • Evaluating Robust Water Management Strategies for the Colorado River Basin

    Nov 5, 2013

    RAND worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Colorado River Basin states to apply innovative robust decision methods to evaluate thousands of plausible futures on the Colorado River and develop and compare strategies to address future vulnerabilities.

  • Ensuring Robust Flood Risk Management in Vietnam

    Aug 16, 2013

    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 decision making can help Vietnam's largest city develop integrated flood risk management strategies despite this uncertainty.

  • Flexible and Robust Water Management Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Sierra Nevada

    Aug 7, 2013

    RAND is working with the California Energy Commission to introduce explore flexible and robust water management strategies for the Sierra Nevada range, to help adapt to climate change.

  • Advising the Metropolitan Water District's Blue Ribbon Commission

    Jun 27, 2011

    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.

  • Adaptive Management of the L.A. Metropolitan Water District's Integrated Resources Plan

    Jun 9, 2011

    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.

  • Robust Water Management Strategies for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency

    Sep 9, 2010

    As part of a multiyear study on climate-change decisionmaking under uncertainty, RAND researchers worked with water agencies in California to help them better understand how climate change might affect their systems and what actions, if any, they should take to address this challenge.

  • Increasing Water-Use Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

    Nov 12, 2007

    Owners of commercial buildings have many options to improve water-use efficiency, but not all efficiency investments will make financial sense to the owner. RAND developed an analytical framework to help building managers and other stakeholders make sensible water-use efficiency investments.