Developing Useful Science: Methods for Engaging Stakeholders and Evaluating Integrated Climate Tools

Project Dates

This project evaluated the uses of water supply forecasts in the Upper Colorado River Basin by developing a series of rigorous user-needs assessments. Project goals included: (1) improving the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center’s water supply forecasts for various user groups; (2) expanding the user-base and enhancing their understanding of forecasts; and (3) understanding the role of uncertainty and risk in interpreting and applying the forecast. This research used a variety of social science methods to help product developers identify, engage, and build relationships with diverse users, with the end goal of constructing more useful climate products. These methods included educational workshops, focus groups, structured interviews, surveys, and decision games.