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Making Science Useful to Decision Makers: Climate Forecasts, Water Management, and Knowledge Networks

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  • 1 University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California
  • | 2 The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, and University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California
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Abstract

Moving from climate science to adaptive action is an immense challenge, especially in highly institutionalized sectors such as water resources. Knowledge networks are valuable strategies to put climate information to use. They overcome barriers to information adoption such as stovepipes, pipelines, and restricted decision space, and they can be responsive to issues of salience and the hurdles of reliability, credibility, and trust. Collaboration and adaptive management efforts among resource managers and forecast producers with differing missions show that mutual learning informed by climate information can occur among scientists of different disciplinary backgrounds and between scientists and water managers. The authors show how, through construction of knowledge networks and their institutionalization through boundary organizations focused on salient problems, climate information can positively affect water resources decision making.

Corresponding author address: Dr. David L. Feldman, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-7075. Email: david.feldman@uci.edu

Abstract

Moving from climate science to adaptive action is an immense challenge, especially in highly institutionalized sectors such as water resources. Knowledge networks are valuable strategies to put climate information to use. They overcome barriers to information adoption such as stovepipes, pipelines, and restricted decision space, and they can be responsive to issues of salience and the hurdles of reliability, credibility, and trust. Collaboration and adaptive management efforts among resource managers and forecast producers with differing missions show that mutual learning informed by climate information can occur among scientists of different disciplinary backgrounds and between scientists and water managers. The authors show how, through construction of knowledge networks and their institutionalization through boundary organizations focused on salient problems, climate information can positively affect water resources decision making.

Corresponding author address: Dr. David L. Feldman, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-7075. Email: david.feldman@uci.edu

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