Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Ecosystem Science and Policy (Graduate)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Kenny Broad

Second Committee Member

Dave Letson

Third Committee Member

Guillermo Podesta

Fourth Committee Member

Maria Carmen Lemos

Fifth Committee Member

Sajjad Ahmad


Water resource decision making in South Florida is characterized by complexity. Factors including climate variability and change, population, land use, and shifting water demands contribute to this complexity. Integrated approaches are suggested as mechanisms to observe and manage complex management challenges, but the practical role of integrated models in environmental decision-making has not been thoroughly evaluated. This research evaluates the potential role for an integrated water model by applying an end-to-end research design in the context of South Florida water management stakeholders. Scenarios for future drivers of water demand and the integrated system dynamics water model, the SFIWM, which were developed based on extensive stakeholder interactions, are described. The stakeholder-based scenarios and the SFIWM represent an attempt to integrate potential impacts of climate variability and climate change upon regional water supply with multiple drivers of regional water demand. The evaluation of the approach, which relies upon stakeholder feedback to critically assess the role of these tools, is presented. In addition to findings regarding the role of integrated models in complex environmental decision environments, findings on the factors that influence the use of climate information in water resource decision-making as well as those that affect the co-production of science and policy are presented. Implications for both water policy and for the design of climate services are described and a recommendation for further study is enclosed.


Water; Climate; Participatory Decision-making; Co-production; Models; Integrated; System Dynamics