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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Musings on a Model: CalSim II in California's Water Community


Computer model results are becoming more prominent in water policy deliberations in California. CalSim II is the most prominent water management model in California, and has become central to a variety of water management and policy issues and controversies. This paper reports on the results of an extensive set of loosely-structured interviews with members of California’s technical and policy-oriented water management community regarding the use and development of CalSim II in California. The interviewers reflect on the thoughts of interviewees and how such interview activities can further policy-effective modeling and technical activities for water management. CalSim II is a complex model of a complex part of California’s changing multi-purpose water system. As such, analytical controversies and misunderstandings are inevitable. Ideally, a model and its associated data would perform an additional service as a forum to resolve technical controversies and continually improve quantitative understanding of the system. While CalSim II is generally seen as a significant improvement over previous models, a wide variety of ideas are suggested for improvements.

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