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Creating a Shared Vision Model. What is a Shared Vision Model?. A “Shared Vision” model is a collective view of a water resources system developed by managers and stakeholders. It is used to facilitate plan development, implementation and maintenance. Wait a second!

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what is a shared vision model
What is a Shared Vision Model?

A “Shared Vision” model is a collective view of a water resources system developed by managers and stakeholders. It is used to facilitate plan development, implementation and maintenance.

Wait a second!

Why discuss Shared Vision Models now?

Are Shared Vision Models part of the seven steps?

Shared Vision Models can enhance each stage of the planning process

shared vision models can
Shared Vision Models Can

Establish the status quo

  • Highlight important problems
  • Communicate constraints
  • Focus planning objectives
shared vision models can1
Shared Vision Models Can
  • Identify promising strategies
  • Fine-tune targets

Assess the impacts of a plan

shared vision models can2
Shared Vision Models Can

Facilitate plan implementation

  • Perform environmental assessments
  • Brief decision makers
  • Inform the public
shared vision models can3
Shared Vision Models Can
  • Conduct Virtual Drought Exercises
  • Review strategic plans

Maintain plan effectiveness

models in water resources planning
Models In Water Resources Planning
  • One of the earliest non-military applications of computers was to water resources
  • Harvard Water Program foresaw the major impacts of computers
  • Simulation and optimization models have been used to provide operational guidance, forecast future conditions, and facilitate planning for many years
traditional models
Traditional Models

Traditional water resources models

  • Developed and used by analysts
  • Developed for the use of a single agency
  • Created with little outside input
  • Written in FORTRAN
  • Run on mainframe computers
limitations of traditional models as planning tools
Limitations of Traditional Models as Planning Tools

Common model limitations as planning tools

  • Require extensive time to create
  • Require extensive training
  • Require extensive data that may be difficult to obtain
common model limitations as planning tools
Common Model Limitations as Planning Tools
  • Are viewed as black boxes by non-developers
  • Can not be customized to facilitate planning decisions
  • Can not be run interactively and lack transportability
  • Represent a single vision
characteristics of today s shared vision models
Characteristics of Today's Shared Vision Models
  • Object Oriented: Flexible - Interactive - Transparent
  • Run on Multiple Platforms: Transportable
  • Jointly Developed and Used: Neutral - Accessible
  • And as a result Shared Vision models are: Useful - Trusted - Endorsed
comparison of traditional and object oriented simulation environments

Object Oriented Environments

Traditional Environments

Model Development Interface

Procedural Code


Model Development Training Required



Programming Effort



Modification Effort


Very Low

Mode of Use



User Interface

Input File


Training to Use



Ease of Understanding



Comparison of Traditional and Object-Oriented Simulation Environments
perceived advantages of shared vision models
Perceived Advantages of Shared Vision Models

Shared Vision Models

  • Improve analysis
  • Are more flexible
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Cost less to develop than traditional approaches
modeling philosophy
Modeling Philosophy

Shared Vision Models should

  • Be developed with wide support
  • Improve communication among managers and stakeholders
  • Disseminate information equally
  • Improve planning and management of water resources
  • Serve as a basis for effective negotiation
overview of model development process

Structure Model Development Process

Conceptualize System

Construct Model

Test and Validate Model

Enhance/Modify Model

Gain Stakeholder Endorsement

Establish Ongoing Role For Model

Overview of Model Development Process

Define Modeling Objectives

desired characteristics of model developer s
Desired Characteristics of Model Developer(s)

Collectively the model development team should possess

  • Respect and trust of stakeholders
  • Strong communication skills
  • Previous modeling experience
  • Strong technical skills
  • A broad-based understanding of the system
roles of managers and stakeholders in model development
Roles of Managers and Stakeholders in Model Development


  • Participate in interviews
  • Share knowledge of the system
  • Shape modeling objectives
  • Critique prototypes
roles of managers and stakeholders in model development1
Roles of Managers and Stakeholders in Model Development

Active Assessments

  • Independently test and use model
  • Participate in virtual drought exercises


  • Participate in model construction
steps in creating shared vision models
Steps in Creating Shared Vision Models

Step 1. Define modeling objectives

Step 2. Structure the model development process

Step 3. Conceptualize the system

Step 4. Construct model

Step 5. Evaluate and test the model

Step 6. Confirm stakeholder endorsement

Step 7. Enhance/modify model

Step 8. Establish guidance for ongoing model use

step 1 define modeling objectives
Step 1. Define Modeling Objectives

Modeling objectives define what should be accomplished by the modeling effort.

To define modeling objectives we must ask

  • Who will use the model?
  • How will it be used?

As well as

  • Who will be impacted by the model?
  • What are the planning objectives?
step 2 structure the model development process
Step 2. Structure the Model Development Process
  • Involve managers and stakeholders
  • Identify constraints and potential obstacles
  • Identify tasks and establish a time line
  • Identify resource requirements
  • Assign roles and responsibilities
step 3 conceptualize the system
Step 3. Conceptualize the System
  • Interview managers and stakeholders and review previous studies
  • Delineate required components
  • Determine what is not required
  • Define appropriate level of system detail
  • Identify an appropriate time step
  • Identify performance measures that will be modeled
step 4 construct model

Identify Module Functions

Layout System Components

Indicate Which Components are Related

Specify Functional Relationships

Gather Necessary Data

Incorporate Data Into the Model

Document Model Diagram and Equations

Step 4. Construct Model

Steps in Model Construction:

Create Tables and Graphs

Create User Interface

typical components of a shared vision model
Typical Components of a Shared Vision Model

Planning objectives Hydrology

Reservoirs Ground water supplies

Demands Forecasts

Operating policies Constraints

Triggers Water rights priorities

Regulations & policies Performance measures

Robust documentation Modeling assumptions

step 5 evaluate and test the model
Step 5. Evaluate and Test the Model

Developers must

  • Verify the model
  • Validate the model
  • Identify areas of uncertainty and sensitivity
model verification
Model Verification

Stakeholders, managers, and analysts must verify that

  • The model contains all critical components
  • Components are correctly related
  • System behavior
model validation
Model Validation

With the verified model, we must ensure that the model can mimic past system behavior:

  • Average conditions
  • Extreme conditions

Appropriate metrics must be used to compare model output with historical data.

sensitivity analysis
Sensitivity Analysis

During sensitivity analysis we determine

  • How changes in variables or assumptions impact system performance
  • Which input variables are most uncertain

This provides an understanding of

  • Which input variables most influence system performance
  • Where more reliable information is needed
step 6 confirm stakeholder endorsement
Step 6. Confirm Stakeholder Endorsement

To obtain model endorsement, model developers must

  • Ensure that model content is understood
  • Convey assumptions
  • Demonstrate model validity
  • Illustrate model’s value in planning and decision making
  • Address concerns that are raised
step 7 enhance modify model
Step 7. Enhance/Modify Model

Before making model enhancements

  • Identify requested changes
  • Identify why the change is needed
  • Prioritize requested modifications
  • Consider available resources
  • Document changes (who, why, when, how)
step 8 establish guidance for ongoing model use
Step 8. Establish Guidance for Ongoing Model Use

To ensure continued model usefulness managers and stakeholders must

  • Identify a caretaker for the model
  • Identify how the model will be maintained
  • Create training opportunities
  • Develop ground rules for model distribution and use
  • A “Shared Vision” model represents the collective view of water resource managers and stakeholders. It facilitates plan development, implementation and maintenance.
  • Shared Vision models have several desirable characteristics that enhance their usefulness as planning tools.
  • Model development teams must be carefully chosen.
  • Stakeholder input is essential to shared vision model development.
  • Guidelines for long-term model use, distribution, and maintenance should be established.