5B.2 Analyzing expressed stakeholder needs in the Western Water Assessment RISA

Tuesday, 19 July 2011: 1:45 PM
Swannanoa (Asheville Renaissance)
John Berggren, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and L. Dilling

Plans for a Climate Service and an ongoing national assessment capacity have emerged against a backdrop of over a decade of work within and outside the RISA network, including non-governmental organizations, governments, businesses, and the like who are interested in effectively responding to climate change and variability. In the Western Water Assessment, we have been working for several years with stakeholders from a wide variety of interests to help them manage water more effectively in the tightly constrained region of the upper Colorado basin. We draw from our wealth of experience and contacts from which to work toward a more systematic framework of stakeholder needs. One of our goals is to see what we can learn from past reporting of stakeholder needs and thus hope to lessen “stakeholder fatigue” (Kasperson 2006). We are working in conjunction with the CISA and GLISA RISA programs to cross-compare results across our various stakeholder communities.

We examined stakeholder needs by developing a comprehensive list of documents where stakeholders have expressed desired climate information for their respective sectors. This comprehensive list was developed through web-based searches and querying our network of key informants and collaborators within academia and the public and private sectors. Documents were selected to be included in our list if relevant stakeholders expressed any type of need in regards to climate information. We created a comprehensive baseline database of stakeholders currently engaged, what organizations they belong to, at what scale and in what sector, and what are their expressed knowledge needs. This information was then coded and analyzed using N-Vivo and Access to look for patterns in variables of interest (e.g., understanding how climate thinking changes across time and sectors, levels of interaction with scientists, participation in networks, characterization of needs across scale and sectors, accuracy/level of uncertainty, spatial distribution, complementarities and synergies, patterns of knowledge uptake, etc). Initial coding of the documents has included identification of geographic scope, relevant sectors, all authors/organizations involved, and time period from each document included in our comprehensive list.

In this paper we present preliminary results of the WWA document review and coding analysis. Water was the most common sector with twenty-two of the documents being exclusively water-related. Fourteen of the documents discussed multiple sectors, with no single main sector focus. Four of the documents were not sector specific, and simply discussed climate change in general. Two were recreation/tourism sector specific documents, two were fish and wildlife/habitat documents, and two were natural resource specific documents. Only one document specific to the urban sector was found, one document was specific to the federal government, and one document was specific to agriculture. As might be expected, stakeholders are requesting more specific and detailed climate information that they might otherwise have available. Stakeholders acknowledge climate information is available, but often note that the lack of specificity and downscaling to their respective sectors is a limitation to use. As the analysis process continues, we will develop a better understanding of the different ways stakeholder interests evolve, which will be critical to support development of iterative networks and effective decision-support tools.

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