Traditional water planning tends to concentrate on engineering infrastructure and to ignore the important "ecosystem services" provided by nature. We are developing new methods which account not only for nature's role in providing, purifying and draining water, but also other values such as sustaining wildlife, fishing and recreation.
By combining optimization and scenario methods, we are generating high-performing management options that are robust across a range of possible futures.
The long term future is ultimately unpredictable, because it depends on human choices. However, by systematically characterizing major policy options and scientific uncertainties, we can evaluate options even with many contingencies.