Participatory planning applied to water resources has sparked significant interest and debate during the last decade. Recognition that models play a significant role in the formulation and implementation of design and management strategies has encouraged the profession to consider how such models can be best implemented. Shared Vision Planning (SVP) is a disciplined planning approach that combines traditional water resources planning methodologies with innovations such as structured public participation and the use of collaborative modeling, resulting in a more complete understanding and an integrative decision support tool.

This study reviews these three basic components of SVP and explains how they are incorporated into a unified planning approach. The successful application of SVP is explored in three studies involving planning challenges: the National Drought Study, the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study, and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint/Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin Study. The article concludes by summarizing the advantages and limitations of this planning approach.

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