Merging Technical Solutions with Practical Realities

Joe D. Manous Jr., Water Resources Engineer and Manager for International Activities for the US Army Corps of Engineers

The challenges of developing water resources projects are multi-faceted. In practice, finding an acceptable alternative often proves to be less about optimizing performance or maximizing benefits and more about finding an alternative that is acceptable to various stakeholders.  Complicating the decision processes is the increased inclusion of risk based analyses and the challenge of using the results of such analyses effectively within a non-STEM stakeholder (decision maker) group.  As a result, much of the focus of project development is on ensuring minimum acceptability of proposed alternatives.  In response, the International Center of Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), working with a variety of partners, is developing a bottom-up type approach titled Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA).  Recent applications of this approach in the Great Lakes and Thailand have indicated promising results.  ICIWaRM is a UNESCO IHP, Category 2 Water Center hosted by the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers at the USACE’s Institute for Water Resources (IWR).