Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016UT201B

Water Strategy Advisory Team: An Assessment of the Envision Utah Process to Improve Water Management

Institute: Utah
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $26,360 Total Non-Federal Funds: $61,166

Principal Investigators: Daniel McCool, Marian HubbardRice

Abstract: In October, 2013, the governor of Utah created a “Water Strategy Advisory Team” (WSAT) to assist the state in developing a strategy to meet future water demands. This team was part of a broader effort administered and facilitated by Envision Utah (EU) to plan for the future needs of the state. This novel, innovative approach sent a clear message to the public that Utah needs to plan carefully in order to meet future water needs. The WSAT brought together a very diverse group of 38 water managers, elected officials, special interest groups, water attorneys, and academics. The objective was to collaboratively develop a set of goals and priorities for future water policy. The research proposed here will assess the extent to which the EU process has met its objectives and assess its value as a template that could be used by other states. The WSAT process will be examined within the framework of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), which places great value on collaborative decision-making and a holistic approach to water planning.