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Use of the Delphi method in resolving complex water resources issues

January 1, 2003

The tri-state river basins, shared by Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, are being modeled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help facilitate agreement in an acrimonious water dispute among these different state governments. Modeling of such basin reservoir operations requires parallel understanding of several river system components: hydropower production, flood control, municipal and industrial water use, navigation, and reservoir fisheries requirements. The Delphi method, using repetitive surveying of experts, was applied to determine fisheries' water and lake-level requirements on 25 reservoirs in these interstate basins. The Delphi technique allowed the needs and requirements of fish populations to be brought into the modeling effort on equal footing with other water supply and demand components. When the subject matter is concisely defined and limited, this technique can rapidly assess expert opinion on any natural resource issue, and even move expert opinion toward greater agreement.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2003
Title Use of the Delphi method in resolving complex water resources issues
DOI 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2003.tb01570.x
Authors J.G. Taylor, S.D. Ryder
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Series Number
Index ID 1015116
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center