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On Internet Resources for Supporting of Non-experts in Democratic Paradigm of Water Management

Paper at the NATO ARW "New paradigms in River and Estuary Management" , Sun Valley, Idaho, USA, April 2001


The paper is devoted to the concept of Internet-based tools that can be used in the framework of the new democratic paradigm of water management. The democratic paradigm is a modern alternative to the standard technocratic alternative of water-related decision making. It is based on the desire to involve non-experts into the process. Usually, non-experts have minimal knowledge on the problem and especially on the ways, how to solve it. Internet can help non-experts understand the problems and use the knowledge in their legal and political actions. We concentrate here on the screening phase of decision process that consists in selecting of one or several decision alternatives for subsequent detailed exploration from myriad of possible alternatives. Involvement of non-experts into the decision process on the screening phase is especially important. It is proposed in the paper to base the Internet tools for water-related decision screening on computer visualization. We argue that it can help to develop tools, which can be mastered by non-experts.

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