Document Type


Author ORCID Identifier

David E. Rosenburg

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management


American Society of Civil Engineers

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This work had the purpose to model and discuss in real-time more adaptive Colorado River reservoir operations with manager and experts. I created real-time, online collaborative modeling environments by using an interactive web spreadsheet (Google Sheet) during video conference sessions. 26 Colorado River managers and experts participated. Within each session, up to 6 people from the same stakeholder group simultaneously consumed, saved, and traded water in six basin water accounts, protected reservoirs, and sustained endangered, native fish of the Grand Canyon. The collaboration differed from prior studies that excluded stakeholders, extracted data from participants, had a lead modeler or facilitation team mediate participant interactions with a model, or built a model then presented findings at the project end. Real-time, online engagement allowed groups to improve basin water accounts rather than separately develop and test competing alternatives. From participant feedback, I synthesized 10 lessons such as model to provoke discussion about new operations rather than propose a solution, solicit feedback early, allow trades to increase manager flexibility, and recognize limits of model acceptability and adoption. A next step is engage multiple groups simultaneously to generate more actionable suggestions for management.


This preprint has been submitted to Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.