. "5 ORGANIZATION AND ACCESSIBILITY." Review of CCSP Draft Synthesis and Assessment Product 5.3: Decision-Support Experiments and Evaluations Using Seasonal to Interannual Forecasts and Observational Data. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2008.
The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
Review of CCSP Draft Synthesis and Assessment Product 5.3: Decision-Support Experiments and Evaluations Using Seasonal to Interannual Forecasts and Observational Data
making. These concepts are not fully developed in the Chapter 4 discussions. For example, what is known about how the framing of climate change as a public policy issue may affect how water resource managers utilize climate information?
The discussion of the “prior appropriation doctrine” is not very clear. A further discussion is needed of overappropriated streams that create problems due to junior rights holders who have claims to any water not claimed by the senior rights holder (the issued is not that the senior rights holder uses “virtually all the water”). Water conservation schemes have to be agreements among all users, or senior rights holders have to sell or lease rights to another user. Water markets and banks in the West are still highly controversial, especially among landowners/water users, and a market solution for water shortages is still some distance in the future.
In discussing the communication of climate science to and with varying audiences, the authors reference the “deficit model” but don’t talk about other communication models and research. There are several recent articles in Public Understanding of Science (e.g., Weingart, Engels, and Panescrau, 2000). An older review of risk communication research is the National Research Council report, Improving Risk Communication (1989), including an appendix by Baruch Fischhoff.
The discussion of institutional response, adaptation, and learning in relation to climate science opens with reference to the work of Baumgartner and Jones (p. 129) but does not follow up very systematically. (Water Resources Research has published some interesting work regarding water resource agencies).
Chapter 3: Managing Innovation: Ensuring Success in JoiningResearch and Operations
This chapter focuses on innovation in the context of federal agencies responsible for developing climate forecasts. Much of the chapter does not directly engage with the insights developed in other chapters about various kinds of disconnects between what forecasters produce and what users want or need. As written, the material on innovation is too nonspecific to engage researchers concerned with applications to water resources and much too lengthy to engage executive readers. Despite the level of detail, the chapter doesn’t fully cover the range of innovation models that may help explain why climate information is or is not integrated into existing or emerging decision systems. Managing innovation may be a critical component to understanding decision systems, but the document does not make a compelling case.
Much of the chapter seems more like a sidebar than part of the main flow of the argument about decision-support needs and experiments. The information on innovation in federal agencies might be placed appropriately in an appendix, with other text moved to Chapter 4, condensed and sharpened to relate more clearly to the rest of the chapters. In particular, sections 3.2 and 3.4 are too detailed and should be seriously shortened or moved to an appendix. Section 3.6 is a list of rhetorical questions, the value of which to the report is unclear. Similarly, the value of section 3.8 is not evident.
The kinds of innovation that are the focus of this chapter—innovations in forecasting apparently developed without direct connection to user needs—do not fit well with the issues raised in Chapters 2 and 4. Such innovations in forecasting may have served the nation well in an era when climate change and variability were issues of lesser concern, but this is no longer the case. Now, forecast information related to climate variability on a 1- to 10-year time horizon