U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Published in ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING, SOFTWARE AND DECISION SUPPORT: STATE OF THE ART AND NEW PERSPECTIVES, edited by A. J. Jakeman, A. A. Voinov, A. E. Rizzoli, & S. H. Chen (Amsterdam et al.: Elsevier, 2008).


Water resources planning and management tools have been moving away from a top down (command and control) approach to a bottom up (grass-roots) approach - which emphasizes the involvement of stakeholders, not only specialists, in all stages of planning - from the identification of problems and issues, the selection of potential solutions to project implementation and operation. Ideally, a participatory grassroots planning process should provide a transparent and flexible platform for all stakeholders to collectively: examine the main elements of their shared water system; understand the main issues and problems to be addressed; participate in identifying alternative policies; and select fairly balanced and broadly supported solutions. Chapter 3 discusses these issues on the broader context of decision support for environmental management.