Document Type


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Journal/Book/Conference Title

Decision Analysis





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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 9874924. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, Virginia Commonwealth University, Innovative Decisions Inc., the United States Military Academy, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

The authors would like to thank the editor and the four reviewers for their thoughtful and constructive reviews that substantially improved the content and focus of the article. For their invaluable expertise and participation we thank the Upham Brook Watershed project committee: Diane Dunaway, Don Forsyth, Gregory Garman, Mort Gulak, Neil Henry, Paddy Katzen, Natalie Kerr, Jennifer Meredith, Jo Mitchell, John Moeser, Susan Ridout, Bob Rugg, Len Smock, Gary Speiran and Lucy Wysong.

Date of Submission

May 2015


The paper describes the use of multiple objective decision analysis to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the quality of an endangered watershed and guide future efforts to improve the quality of the watershed. The Upham Brook watershed is an urban watershed that lies at the interface of declining inner city Richmond, Virginia and growth-oriented Henrico County. A section of stream within the watershed has been identified as so dangerously polluted that it threatens the health of the residents who live within the watershed boundaries. With funding provided by the National Science Foundation, the Upham Brook watershed project committee was formed to address the quality of the Upham Brook watershed; it consisted of experts from multiple disciplines: stream ecology, environmental policy, water policy, ground and surface water hydrology and quality, aquatic biology, political science, sociology, citizen participation, community interaction, psychology, and decision and risk analysis. Each members' values and goals were brought together using a watershed management framework to meet the overall objective of the committee: to maximize the quality of the Upham Brook watershed. The resulting model was used to identify the largest value gaps and to identify future programs needed to improve the quality of the watershed.


© 2005 INFORMS. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication as Merrick, J. R. W., Parnell, G., Barnett, J., and Garcia, M. (2005) A Multiple-Objective Decision Analysis of Stakeholder Values to Identify Watershed Improvement Needs. Decision Analysis 2(1):44-57.

Is Part Of

VCU Statistical Sciences and Operations Research Publications