Increasing social-ecological resilience by placing science at the decision table: The role of the San Pedro Basin (Arizona) decision-support system model

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Abstract

We have analyzed how the collaborative development process of a decision-support system (DSS) model can effectively contribute to increasing the resilience of regional social-ecological systems. In particular, we have focused on the case study of the transboundary San Pedro Basin, in the Arizona-Sonora desert region. This is a semi-arid watershed where water is a scarce resource used to cover competing human and environmental needs. We have outlined the essential traits in the development of the decision-support process that contributed to an improvement of water-resources management capabilities while increasing the potential for consensual problem solving. Comments and feedback from the stakeholders benefiting from the DSS in the San Pedro Basin are presented and analyzed within the regional (United States-Mexico boundary), social, and institutional context. We have indicated how multidisciplinary collaboration between academia and stakeholders can be an effective step toward collaborative management. Such technology transfer and capacity building provides a common arena for testing water-management policies and evaluating future scenarios. Putting science at the service of a participatory decision-making process can provide adaptive capacity to accommodate future change (i.e., building resilience in the management system).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEcology and Society
Volume14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

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decision support system
stakeholder
technology transfer
capacity building
basin
water management
desert
decision making
watershed
resource
water
science
decision
water resources management
need
services
policy

Keywords

  • Collaborative development
  • Decision-support system model
  • Participatory water management
  • Resilience
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Stakeholder feedback
  • Sustainability learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

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abstract = "We have analyzed how the collaborative development process of a decision-support system (DSS) model can effectively contribute to increasing the resilience of regional social-ecological systems. In particular, we have focused on the case study of the transboundary San Pedro Basin, in the Arizona-Sonora desert region. This is a semi-arid watershed where water is a scarce resource used to cover competing human and environmental needs. We have outlined the essential traits in the development of the decision-support process that contributed to an improvement of water-resources management capabilities while increasing the potential for consensual problem solving. Comments and feedback from the stakeholders benefiting from the DSS in the San Pedro Basin are presented and analyzed within the regional (United States-Mexico boundary), social, and institutional context. We have indicated how multidisciplinary collaboration between academia and stakeholders can be an effective step toward collaborative management. Such technology transfer and capacity building provides a common arena for testing water-management policies and evaluating future scenarios. Putting science at the service of a participatory decision-making process can provide adaptive capacity to accommodate future change (i.e., building resilience in the management system).",
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AU - Lansey, Kevin E

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AU - Valdes, Juan B

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