including those currently being achieved by the STAs, viable project alternatives may be overlooked. Additionally, project planners and decision makers will lack a full understanding of the implications of delaying hydrologic restoration until the ultimate water quality objectives are met versus proceeding sooner with slightly elevated phosphorus levels.

ELM appears to be the only water quality model that has been approved for use by the USACE and that is actually used in CERP project planning (although not widely so). However, it is not listed among the modeling tools for use in the Central Everglades Planning Project (USACE and SFWMD, 2012). Other water quality models that seem essential to an ongoing Central Everglades Planning Project, such as the Dynamic Model for Stormwater Treatment Areas (DMSTA), have not undergone a formal, external peer review. External peer review is important, particularly for models that are used extensively in the planning process, and peer review of the DMSTA is a high priority.


Decision support tools provide an important link between science and decision making and also offer a mechanism to incorporate stakeholder preferences in a formal way to inform decision making. NRC (2010) urged development and use of multi-criteria decision support tools to provide more rigorous scientific support for decision making. In this section the committee discusses the importance of considering stakeholder preferences in addition to science synthesis in decision making and reviews the progress made thus far in developing structured decision support tools to assist CERP decision making.

Decision Making under Risk and Uncertainty

Restoration and management of the Everglades is a major endeavor in decision making under risk and uncertainty. The Everglades is temporally and spatially complex, and meeting CERP goals relies on the successful application of available scientific knowledge to multi-faceted goals for restoration and the integration of the values and priorities of a broad range of stakeholders. Despite the huge body of knowledge acquired on the biotic and abiotic processes underpinning the Everglades, uncertainties about which actions will best promote the goals of the CERP and the effects of such actions on components of the Everglades will always persist. While much is known about the past and current states of the Everglades and the processes that drive change (McVoy et al., 2011; SFWMD, 2011c), uncertainties remain in forecasting the likely consequences of management actions or inaction. For instance, the timescales over which the landscape responds to changes in flow and the difference between degrada-

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