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…deliberative, inclusive decision-making processes as the forum in which to debate how water resources will be used among competing ends. What is unique about shared vision planning, however, is how analytical technical expertise and analysis is integrated into a collaborative planning process. Through a structured planning process, an analytical computer model of the water resource system, called a shared vision model, is constructed with the participation of stakeholders. The shared vision model is designed to be used by stakeholders themselves to develop a mutually satisfactory water supply plan… (Stephenson, 2003, p. 1)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers introduced this approach to shared vision planning in its 1995 National Study of Water Management During Drought (IWR, 1995). The approach consists of three elements: (1) a structured planning process, similar to that described in the Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Planning Water and Related Land Resources (U.S. Water Resource Council, 1983) that states objectives and identifies problems and opportunities; formulates and evaluates alternatives; and displays effects of each alternative on each of the stated objectives; (2) a collaborative, negotiation process involving stakeholders; and (3) use of scientific and technical information through the use of computer models that accounts for the complex linkages among various elements of the water resource system under investigation (Stephenson, 2003). This last element of Shared Vision Planning is the Shared Vision Model.

The LOSLR Plan of Study is the official document that authorizes and defines the scope of the study (BACK 2). It was prepared by the IJC and approved by the two governments. The Plan of Study contains directives that are consistent with the three elements of a structured planning process, stakeholder collaboration, and computer simulation models described by Stephenson (2003). The Plan of Study mandated the use of a...