92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012: 4:30 PM
Developing a Knowledge Network of Climate Information Using Shared Vision Forecasting for the Connecticut River Basin
Room 243 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Sarah Whateley, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; and C. Brown

Water managers face increasing challenges due to climate change and the rising competition for water services. Technological advances in monitoring and forecasting the earth's climate system offer a potentially useful new tool to help water managers meet these challenges. In particular, the use of climate information has been identified as beneficial in water management decisions. However, the spread of technical information and practices is often lost in communication when transferred between a source and an adopter. In water resources management, previous research has identified that the implementation of new ideas and practices are impeded by institutional obstacles, infrastructure deficiencies, lack of knowledge about new methodologies, organizational opposition, regulatory constraints, and political disincentives to innovation. We hypothesize that Shared Vision Forecasting and the diffusion of innovations framework will facilitate the promotion and adoption of forecasting techniques. Thus, we established a knowledge network of water managers in an effort to promote the use of climate information in the Connecticut River Basin, the source of water for the metropolitan Boston area and the largest river in New England. To establish baseline information into the current use of climate information and forecasting in water management decision-making, we administered a survey on March 15th, 2011 at the first annual Hydroclimate Outlook Workshop located at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The workshop was designed to bring water managers together and provide them with useful information about current and local climate in context. We will report the results of the workshop and survey and draw broad inferences on the state of climate information use in the Connecticut River Basin compared with previous studies on forecast use globally. A better understanding of the adoption process could assist in the formulation of useful climate information for water managers' decision-making needs.

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