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It is often challenging to integrate climate forecast use into actual decision-making processes, even when modeling demonstrates significant benefits from its use. Decision-making processes are guided by both formal policy frameworks, and the particular institutional structures under which decision-makers must operate. In addition, water is shared across multiple stakeholders, who are often represented by specific government or private sector agencies. These agencies face different costs depending upon the outcome of a forecast, and different preferences for risk. Depending upon the institutional and political arrangements for how decisions are made, these stakeholder interests may figure more or less strongly in water allocation decisions.

Using role-playing to simulate a water allocation process involving multiple stakeholders, this exercise will help participants think through some of the above challenges, addressing the following three learning goals:

1) Identify institutional constraints in making water reservoir management decisions based on climate information

2) Evaluate implications of the uncertainty associated with climate forecasts when decision-makers face differing costs and benefits that depend upon the climate outcome and the water allocation decisions made

3) Identify particular constraints in the participants’ own institutional contexts that may need to be addressed in order to integrate climate forecast information, and to identify some of the possible steps that would be required to do so

Additional Files (304 kB)
Cost Matrix, Instructions, and Decision Support Tool (MS Excel File)