Shared Vision Planning


Literature Review

The following literature review includes relevant references on collaborative modeling activities. This resource is meant to facilitate further learning about collaborative modeling and the Shared Vision Planning process.


An increasing number of materials about the concept and method of Shared Vision Planning are available to researchers and practitioners. To assist those who would like to learn more about the Shared Vision Planning process, a variety of resources are presented on this web site, including a literature review of collaborative modeling activities, presenting an additional comprehensive review of references.

Below is a variety of materials, including a peer-review paper, numerous training materials, and the report from the National Drought Study. We encourage you to read and use these works as you learn about and implement the Shared Vision Planning approach.

Primers and Presentations | Reports and Papers | Related Links

Primers and Presentations
A Shared Vision Planning Primer

This document is the starting point for those new to the concept of SVP. The document reviews some of the current challenges in water resources decision making and describes how SVP can overcome these challenges. It defines the major components of SVP (traditional water planning, structured public participation, and an integrated computer model), and then walks through a simple example to give you a sense of how it is applied.
Hal Cardwell PhD, Stacy Langsdale PhD, Kurt Stephenson PhD; 1/8/2009

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View en español (pdf, 1.3 MB)

Collaborative Tools and Processes for U.S. Water Solutions

The 2007 SWAQ report, "A Strategy for Federal Science and Technology to Support Fresh Water Availability and Quality in the United States," surveys the challenges facing the United States today and recommends federal research towards developing collaborative tools and processes for solutions to U.S. water problems. A subgroup of SWAQ agencies further developed the ideas into a proposed Federal initiative on the "integration of computer based modeling tools within multi-stakeholder public decision processes for US water solutions."

View Presentation (pdf, 24 KB)
View Report (pdf, 45 KB)

History of Shared Vision Planning

This resource details the background of the Shared Vision Planning approach, both as a particular planning method used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and in the larger context of federal planning efforts in the twentieth century.
Institute for Water Resources;


How to Conduct a Shared Vision Planning Process

This guide discusses what Shared Vision Planning is, and how to set up and conduct a Shared Vision Planning process. It focuses on process issues, such as the steps that are followed, the institutional relationships, the mechanisms for involving stakeholders, and the dispute resolution tools used. This guide is intended for two audiences: (1) people with facilitation skills who would like to learn how to conduct a Shared Vision Planning process and have access to computer modeling expertise, or (2) people with skills in modeling who would like to learn how to use their modeling in a collaborative process. James L. Creighton, Ph.D., Creighton & Creighton, Inc.; 5/2010
James Creighton, PhD; 05/30/2010

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Shared Vision Planning and 404 Regulatory Process Brochure

This brochure outlined the how the Shared Vision Planning Process is applied to the 404 Regulatory Permit Process.
Institute for Water Resources;

Shared Vision Planning Brochure

Shared Vision Planning integrates tried-and-true planning principles, systems modeling, and collaboration into a practical forum for making water resource management decisions. This brochure was an overview of the method and application of the Shared Vision Planning approach to resource management.
Institute for Water Resources;

A Short Guide on Interactive Decision Support Tools Using Microsoft Excel

This primer provides an overview of how Microsoft Excel can be used to create dynamic decision-making support tools for Corps planning studies.
Institute for Water Resources;

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Reports and Papers
Analysis of Process Issues in Shared Vision Planning Cases

Much of the literature regarding Shared Vision Planning (or other forms of Computer-Aided Dispute Resolution) focuses on the characteristics of the computer model developed during the process, on related technical studies, and on and the evaluation of alternatives. This report looks instead at the process followed during Shared Vision Planning by analyzing the processes used in a number of published Shared Vision Planning cases. Of particular interest are the types and mechanisms for stakeholder involvement in developing and using the model.
James L. Creighton, Ph.D., Creighton & Creighton, Inc.; Stacy Langsdale, P.E., Ph.D., IWR; 9/30/2009

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Collaborative Modeling as a Tool to Implement IWRM

Water professionals from around the world gathered for the Collaborative Modeling for Decision Support Symposium within the American Water Resources 2011 Summer Specialty Conference on Integrated Water Resource Management, June 27-29, in Snowbird Utah.
Institute for Water Resources; November 18, 2011

Computer Aided Dispute Resolution: Proceedings from the CADRe Workshop

The proceedings include: overview paper, panel discussion transcripts, case study papers and presentations, ideas from the "next steps" breakout groups, reaction papers from attendees and attendee bios.
Kurt Stephenson, Leonard Shabman, Stacy Langsdale, Hal Cardwell; December 31, 2007

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Computer-Aided Dispute Resolution 2nd Workshop Summary and Strategic Plan

This is the summary document from the 2009 CADRe Workshop that took place October 20-21,2009 in Denver, Colorado.

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Documentation Methodology

This paper describes the methodology to be used in documenting the collaboration process of the Corps National Cooperative Modeling Demonstration Program (NCMDP) and the Collaborative Planning and Management Program (CPMP).
Dr. James Creighton; 1/17/2007

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Managing Water for Drought: The National Drought Study Report on Shared Vision Planning (then called "DPS Method")

This report codified the "DPS Method," which came to be known as Shared Vision Planning. "Managing Water for Drought" presents the conclusions of the landmark National Drought Study for improving water management in the United States. The method it recommends has significantly impacted the development of the Shared Vision Planning approach.

View Excerpts (html)
View Full Report (pdf, 1.57 MB)

Performance Measures to Assess the Benefits of Shared Vision Planning and Other Collaborative Modeling Processes

Collaborative modeling has evolved as an approach to support water resources planning since the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) pioneered the Shared Vision Planning (SVP) approach in the early 1990s through the National Drought Study. To date, however, the benefits of collaborative modeling and similar approaches have not been explicitly evaluated. In 2007, IWR set out to develop performance measures to address this need. This report summarizes the work that has been completed to develop a suite of performance measures. The report presents background information on SVP and collaborative modeling processes, describes the activities conducted to identify performance measures, describes the measures, and discusses methodological considerations for applying the measures retrospectively and prospectively to evaluate the benefits of collaborative modeling in completed and active cases.
William R. Michaud, P.E., SRA International, Inc. ; 11/30/2009

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"Shared Vision" Modeling for Environmental Project Planning

This paper describes the purpose and application of shared vision models in the planning of environmental-management projects.

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Shared Vision Planning Applied to Regulatory Decisions

This white paper discusses Shared Vision Planning and its relation to the Corps' regulatory role under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
M.A. Lorie; 7/31/2006

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Shared Vision Planning Literature Review

This resource includes relevant references on collaborative modeling activities. The sources contained in the literature review can enhance understanding of collaborative modeling and the Shared Vision Planning process.
IWR Shared Vision Planning; 11/1/2007

View (pdf, 1.15 MB)
Download (xls 4.9MB)

Sharing a Vision for Sharing the Water

This "Horizons" article describes the Shared Vision Planning approach and its application in the planning effort on the Rappahannock River Basin.
Kurt Stephenson, William Cox, Lauren Cartwright, Jeffrey Connor; September/October 2002

When Should Shared Vision Planning Be Used?

This paper reviews case studies and reflects on factors that can make Shared Vision Planning successful in particular situations. It also identifies factors that can impede a Shared Vision Planning effort.
William Werick and Richard N. Palmer;

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Related Links
Collaborative Modeling for Decision Support in Water Resources: Principles and Best Practices

Written for facilitators and modelers, scientists and planners, Collaborative Modeling for Decision Support in Water Resources: Principles and Best Practices fills a gap in the literature at the intersection of technical computer modeling and conflict management disciplines as applied to water resource management. The document presents eight principles for collaborative modeling and associated Best Practices to help a conflict resolution practitioner or modeler maximize their chances for success. The practices are illustrated with notes from actual case studies. Through the dissemination of these principles and practices, the author team seeks to train new practitioners, and to enable current practitioners to refine and advance their skills.
S. Langsdale, A. Beall, E. Bourget, E.Hagen, S. Kudlas, R. Palmer, D. Tate, and W. Werick; 12/18/2011


Corps Planning Manual

When we looked at the guidance that has been prepared to help the Corps in its role as a steward of the Nation's water resources, we saw a gap. There was policy guidance for planners and numerous publications describing methods for accomplishing many important tasks, but there was nowhere for new planners or non-planners to turn to find out what planning is all about. This manual attempts to fill that gap by explaining planning principles.
Institute for Water Resources; 11/30/1996


Executive Order Facilitation of Collaborative Conservation

This order ensures that federal and local agencies work together to implement laws that promote "cooperative conservation." Cooperative conservation encourages collaborative activities between government and non-government entities in regards to managing natural resources and the environment.


Planning in a Collaborative Environment (EC 1105-2-409)

This circular provided revised procedures for conducting Corps water resources planning and preparing feasibility level (decision) reports that required congressional authorization and were approved under delegated authority. (Engineering Circular 409)
USACE; 5/31/2005