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The Florida Water and Climate Alliance (FloridaWCA): Developing a Stakeholder–Scientist Partnership to Create Actionable Science in Climate Adaptation and Water Resource Management

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  • 1 Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, and Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, and Florida Climate Institute, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
  • 2 Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • 3 Water Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • 4 Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, Lakewood Ranch, Florida
  • 5 Planning and Systems Decision Support, Tampa Bay Water, Clearwater, and Patel College of Global Sustainability, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
  • 6 Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • 7 Water Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
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Abstract

The Florida Water and Climate Alliance (FloridaWCA) is a stakeholder–scientist partnership committed to increasing the relevance of climate science data and tools at time and space scales needed to support decision-making in water resource management, planning, and supply operations in Florida. Since 2010, a group of university researchers, public utility water resource managers and operators, water management district personnel, and local planners have engaged in a sustained collaboration for the development, sharing, and application of cutting-edge research to the practical issues of water management and distribution in the highly urbanized state of Florida. The authors, all members of FloridaWCA, present a case study of the organization’s history, its achievements, and lessons learned at the organizational, scientific/technical, and personal levels. Their goals are to 1) describe how the organizational process has contributed to actionable science based on posing and answering questions of importance; 2) share its scientific impact and technical contributions; 3) demonstrate the value of such a stakeholder–scientist partnership, and 4) identify organizational and structural components that have influenced its effectiveness, including personal reflections. The FloridaWCA, having reached its tenth anniversary, continues to evolve today as a sustained stakeholder–scientist partnership resulting in both guiding researchers of what is applicable in the field (creating an area of research that is useful to society) while also helping the practitioners to push the envelope on the state-of-the practices that can be informed by current research.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Vasubandhu Misra, vmisra@fsu.edu

Abstract

The Florida Water and Climate Alliance (FloridaWCA) is a stakeholder–scientist partnership committed to increasing the relevance of climate science data and tools at time and space scales needed to support decision-making in water resource management, planning, and supply operations in Florida. Since 2010, a group of university researchers, public utility water resource managers and operators, water management district personnel, and local planners have engaged in a sustained collaboration for the development, sharing, and application of cutting-edge research to the practical issues of water management and distribution in the highly urbanized state of Florida. The authors, all members of FloridaWCA, present a case study of the organization’s history, its achievements, and lessons learned at the organizational, scientific/technical, and personal levels. Their goals are to 1) describe how the organizational process has contributed to actionable science based on posing and answering questions of importance; 2) share its scientific impact and technical contributions; 3) demonstrate the value of such a stakeholder–scientist partnership, and 4) identify organizational and structural components that have influenced its effectiveness, including personal reflections. The FloridaWCA, having reached its tenth anniversary, continues to evolve today as a sustained stakeholder–scientist partnership resulting in both guiding researchers of what is applicable in the field (creating an area of research that is useful to society) while also helping the practitioners to push the envelope on the state-of-the practices that can be informed by current research.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Vasubandhu Misra, vmisra@fsu.edu
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