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Integrating Societal and Scientific Elements into Sustainable and Effective Water Resource Policy Development

J. L. Gutenson1, A. N. S. Ernest2*, B. L. Bearden3, C. Fuller2, and J. Guerrero2

  1. U. S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, United States
  2. Research, Applied Technology, Education and Service, Inc. RATES, P.O. Box 697, Edinburg, TX 78540, United States
  3. Department of Geography, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, United States

*Corresponding author. Tel.: 956-540-9390. E-mail address: (A. N. S. Ernest).


Sustainable water policy is predicated on engaged and representative stakeholders acting on sound and continuously evolving science. Just as stakeholder perspectives are numerous and diverse, so are the scientific disciplines or subject areas that define the availability, impact and use of water. There exists a need for scientists, engineers, and policy makers to better understand the inextricable network of feedback loops associated with the implementation of the science of water resources management and the policy enabling water resources management. In this article, we propose the Water Resources Integrated Science and Policy Research (WRISPR) concept. WRISPR is a framework to engage stakeholders and policy makers in integrated water policy formation using a singular framework underpinned with cutting edge cyberinfrastructure and modeling tools. We find that WRISPR can be successfully applied by developing a demonstrative cyberinfrastructure framework in two distinct regions of the United States. We propose that WRISPR can be scaled to empower science-driven water policy at multiple spatial and temporal ranges.

Keywords: data-driven, decision support systems, DIKW, hydroinformatics, water governance, water policy

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