Involving the Public in Participatory Scenario Planning in Maui, Hawai‘i
Learn about a multi-year stakeholder-intensive process on Groundwater Recharge to simulate impacts of development, conservation, and climate change
In Maui, Hawai‘i, a participatory scenario planning process and modeling framework was used to demonstrate and communicate the consequences and tradeoffs of alternative land management strategies under a changing climate, and to serve as a tool for decision making under environmental and socioeconomic uncertainty. An integrated land cover/hydrological modeling framework was developed using GIS data, stakeholder input, climate information and projections, and empirical data to estimate future groundwater recharge on Maui.
Four future land-cover scenarios and two downscaled climate projections representing wet and dry climate futures were used to estimate average annual groundwater recharge at the end of the century. The future land-cover scenarios were codeveloped with over 100 diverse stakeholders to portray feasible development futures: Future 1 – ecological conservation-focused, Future 2 – status quo, Future 3 – development-focused, and Future 4 – balanced conservation and development. The estimated mean island-wide recharge rate increased under all future land-cover and climate combinations, although results varied by watershed. Results showed that urban expansion is currently slated for coastal areas that are already water-stressed and had low recharge projections. Through co-development of and participation in this research project, municipal water utilities, policy makers, and planners increased their familiarity with uncertainty and climate projections and are using results to choose watersheds to develop for new freshwater sources.
This completed project will demonstrate how the co-development of climate research through participatory scenario planning and modeling can accelerate the uptake of complex climate data and projections into local decision making by increasing familiarity with uncertain futures.