Analyzing Expressed Stakeholder Needs in the Western Water Assessment Region
Through web-based searches and querying a network of key informants and collaborators, WWA researchers Dilling and Berggren developed a list of documents to include in a database of expressed stakeholder needs for climate information. Documents were included if they identified any type of stakeholder need regarding climate information, and were within the WWA’s geographic scope. Needs that were repeatedly mentioned were additional monitoring such as USGS stream gauges and NRCS SNOTEL sites, better communication and collaboration between scientists/researchers and stakeholders, and a ‘clearinghouse’ or ‘portal’ where stakeholders could easily obtain climate-related information. The documents also suggested that current management and research are addressing the appropriate issues, but could be better coordinated and communicated to improve decision-making. Additional climate and hydrologic monitoring and modeling would better assist managers and planners, but only if the data is readily available and in a useful form. The PIs are currently in the process of producing a white paper and writing an article for submission in a peer-review journal. Two other RISAs (Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments, and Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments) conducted similar stakeholder needs analyses, and the resulting comparative framework will be published in the near future.