The Human Dimensions of Water-Resources Planning

Harris, D. H. (1977). The human dimensions of water-resources planning. Human Factors, 19, 3, 241-251.

Developed a framework for incorporating human factors along with technical and economic factors into the water-resources planning decision process. Initially, 388 water-resources concepts from the human domain were collected, screened, and grouped to define 42 different factors. Then, from ratings of similarity-dissimilarity by 300 raters (in subgroups that might logically be expected to have factor similarity-dissimilarity: males and females; social scientists, water-works professionals, and other occupations; Northerners and Southerners; and Easterners and Westerners) a matrix was generated of mean distances between all 861 possible factor pairs. The matrix was analyzed by compter-based multidimensional scaling techniques to determine the underlying dimensional structure. Finally, using procedures that paralleled those for determining factor similarity-dissimilarity, a value reflecting social importance was developed for each of the 42 factors and for the 5 basic dimensions that emerged from the multidimensional analysis. These values covered a wide range; however, values for the same factors and dimensions were nearly identical among the different subgroups of raters, even those with potentially divergent viewpoints.

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