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Weather Forecasts are for Wimps: Why Water Resource Managers Don't Use Climate Forecasts

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  • The research described here examined the question of why water resource managing institutions in the United States do or do not use probabilistic forecast information about seasonal and interannual climate variability in their planning. The study sought to describe water resource decision making processes in sufficient detail to enable us to identify the institutional conditions under which increased use could be made of probabilistic climate forecasting information to benefit society as a whole. Better hydrologic management strategies may not only improve viability of local water supplies, but also help mitigate tensions in areas where there is competition for water rights. The research methodology for this study was developed in such a way that the approach may be modified for application to other resource management systems, such as forestry, and in other countries, such as those of the tropical and sub-tropical regions that are most directlyaffected by ENSO-related climate fluctuations.
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  • Rayner, S, D. Lach, H. Ingram, M. Houck. 2003. Weather forecasts are for wimps: why water resource managers don't use climate forecasts. Final report to NOAA Office of Global Programs. Special Report 2003-1. Center for Water and Environmental Sustainability, Oregon State University. 80 p.
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  • NOAA Office of Global Programs
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