Decision Support Systems for Water Management in Florida: Investigating Stakeholder Perceptions of System Use

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Water resources protection has proven challenging due to the complex nature of resource management. Since the 1970s, many water management researchers have turned their attention to the use of decision support systems (DSS) as a means of supporting and enhancing decision making in water resource management. In some areas, DSS have been effectively applied to connect environmental degradation and water treatment capacity to promote stakeholder engagement. However, how DSS influence decision making within the water management sector has not been adequately articulated. This study attempted to fill the gap by gathering data through surveys and interviews from stakeholders who are part of institutions that utilize the Water Atlas, a DSS, in their respective counties. The study found that the tool was used for both educational outreach and scientific research support. Decision making was mostly supported through the program's use as a research tool. Stakeholders also expressed that conditions found in the literature to contribute to successful implementation were largely met through the Water Atlas development process and continued use.

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Southeastern Geographer, v. 62, issue 1, p. 38-58