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Digital Engagement Case Study:
Collaborative Policy Making
California Water Plan Update 2013
Lisa Beutler / MWH

IAP2 NorCal: January 30 Virtual Brown Bag Features Digital
Engagement Case Study
Background
• CWP - State’s  Strategic  Plan  for  Water  Updated Every 5 Years
• Collaborative Development required by Law
• Stakeholders are generally people already
interested in water or related topics (like
Agriculture, Forestry or Land Use)
• All Water Plans Since 1998 have exceeded the
collaboration requirements
• Water Plan Collaboration has evolved overtime
adapting to requirements
3 Water Plan Volumes Developed with
Significant Collaborative Input

VOLUME I – Strategic Plan

VOLUME II – Regional Reports

VOLUME III – Resource
Management Strategies

Outlines the mission, vision, and
objectives. Describes the
current  state  of  California’s  water  
portfolio, potential future, gaps
and options to respond. Offers
key recommendations to meet
objectives.

Describes the current state,
potential future, gaps and
options to respond for each of
the 10 hydrologic Regions and
compiles an overlay for both the
Bay Delta and Mountain
Counties which contain multiple
watersheds.

Provides a tool kit to be used in
responding to the current and
future state. CWP 2013 IS THE
FIRST to include Outreach &
Education as a tool.

Audiences for each Plan Volume are Different
Volume 4 is References and Volume 5 is Technical Guide
More Background
For CWP 2013

• Well over 300 active stakeholders attended
meetings and provided on-going feedback
• Well over 5,000 stakeholders engaged at the
information sharing level
• Because it is a Statewide Plan have always
utilized phone and, beginning in 2008, on-line
meeting options
• The Water Plan also has a significant commitment
to the website and on-line communications
Digital Collaboration and the CA Water Plan –
The CASE STUDY

Situation:
Much of the information for creation of the Regional
Reports comes from the local stakeholders in the
Region. The staff compiles this information into a
draft then returns it for comment.
Staff asked – Is there a better way??? Would
something like a Wiki be feasible??? There
remained a number of questions -
Some of Our Questions
How do we:
1. Maintain Quality Control? Address editorial
rights? Can anyone create or edit or just people
acknowledged as experts?
2. Prevent  a  “serial  meeting”  prohibited  under  the  
open meeting laws? How would document
creation be treated under these laws?
3. Would anyone actually participate?
4. Who owns the platform/ technology?
5. What platform/technology would we use?
The Experiment
Try to create a Water Plan Chapter
using a Wiki type interface.
– Use New Chapter on Outreach and Education
Resource Management Strategy (RMS) for the
Experiment – multiple reasons to chose this
particular chapter
– Find a free software with Open Access (must not
require financial contribution or disclosure of
personal information to participate)
What We Did to Create the Base Document
•All  RMS’s  have  the  same  prescribed  
format. First draft was an outline with the
format and a statement of the required
information
•Second draft was created using input from
a stakeholder focus group that identified
key items they would like in the chapter
•Third draft was provided for the On-Line
Experiment
What we Did to Conduct the Experiment

• Advertised the experiment to a wide group of
experts in Outreach and Education
• Advertised the experiment to the active CWP
stakeholder community
• Created a Pre-Work Session for people to
engage prior to an on-line work session
• Conducted an on-line review of the document
with real time editing
• Concurrently conducted an in-room meeting
• Used a CrocDoc for the Wiki / free software
What Worked / Things We Liked
•Received real/ thoughtful feedback
•Participants commented on work from
others – agreeing or not / was really
helpful
•People that used it said software was a
little buggy but they could see doing
something like it again
•People like being involved in the early
input and the approach
Things that Could have Gone Better
• The  Software  was  buggy  so  we  didn’t  get  to  see  
how it might play out completely
• We had HUGE problems with the on-line meeting,
almost all related to human error or lack of capacity
in the meeting space --- not the technology
• We had about 20 people attend the in-person
meeting at 7:30 a.m. - we had intentionally made
the in-person meeting less convenient hoping that
people would attend on-line  but  they  didn’t  trust  the  
technology -
Results
1. It Works, we just need to find the right software.
2. 14 people provided on-line feedback, & over 30
engaged in the on-line session plus the 20 in the
room.
3. We see it initially as needing to be iterative – not
giving up the real-time collaboration but being
able to do more with people on their own
timeframe.
4. We will need to resolve the potential legal issues.
5. We will need to create rules for editing and quality
control.
See for Yourself - The WIKI Experiment

• This was the pre meeting sample:
• https://personal.crocodoc.com/kQoaq6v
• This is the draft Chapter Now:
• http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/docs/cwpu2013/2013prd/Vol3_Ch29_Outreach-and-Engagment_Public-ReviewDraft_Final_PDFed_fk.pdf
• This is more about How to Navigate the Water Plan:
• http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/docs/cwpu2013/2013prd/NavigationGuide-2013PRD.pdf
MWH IRWM Business Strategy
Ways to Access Water Plan
Information
• Visit the Water Plan Web
Portal
www.waterplan.water.ca.gov

Subscribe to Water Plan eNews
a weekly electronic newsletter
www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/enews
14
Questions?
Lisa Beutler / MWH
lisa.beutler@mwhglobal.com

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Digital Engagement Case Study: Collaborative Policy Making and the California Water Plan

  • 1. Digital Engagement Case Study: Collaborative Policy Making California Water Plan Update 2013 Lisa Beutler / MWH IAP2 NorCal: January 30 Virtual Brown Bag Features Digital Engagement Case Study
  • 2. Background • CWP - State’s  Strategic  Plan  for  Water  Updated Every 5 Years • Collaborative Development required by Law • Stakeholders are generally people already interested in water or related topics (like Agriculture, Forestry or Land Use) • All Water Plans Since 1998 have exceeded the collaboration requirements • Water Plan Collaboration has evolved overtime adapting to requirements
  • 3. 3 Water Plan Volumes Developed with Significant Collaborative Input VOLUME I – Strategic Plan VOLUME II – Regional Reports VOLUME III – Resource Management Strategies Outlines the mission, vision, and objectives. Describes the current  state  of  California’s  water   portfolio, potential future, gaps and options to respond. Offers key recommendations to meet objectives. Describes the current state, potential future, gaps and options to respond for each of the 10 hydrologic Regions and compiles an overlay for both the Bay Delta and Mountain Counties which contain multiple watersheds. Provides a tool kit to be used in responding to the current and future state. CWP 2013 IS THE FIRST to include Outreach & Education as a tool. Audiences for each Plan Volume are Different Volume 4 is References and Volume 5 is Technical Guide
  • 4. More Background For CWP 2013 • Well over 300 active stakeholders attended meetings and provided on-going feedback • Well over 5,000 stakeholders engaged at the information sharing level • Because it is a Statewide Plan have always utilized phone and, beginning in 2008, on-line meeting options • The Water Plan also has a significant commitment to the website and on-line communications
  • 5. Digital Collaboration and the CA Water Plan – The CASE STUDY Situation: Much of the information for creation of the Regional Reports comes from the local stakeholders in the Region. The staff compiles this information into a draft then returns it for comment. Staff asked – Is there a better way??? Would something like a Wiki be feasible??? There remained a number of questions -
  • 6. Some of Our Questions How do we: 1. Maintain Quality Control? Address editorial rights? Can anyone create or edit or just people acknowledged as experts? 2. Prevent  a  “serial  meeting”  prohibited  under  the   open meeting laws? How would document creation be treated under these laws? 3. Would anyone actually participate? 4. Who owns the platform/ technology? 5. What platform/technology would we use?
  • 7. The Experiment Try to create a Water Plan Chapter using a Wiki type interface. – Use New Chapter on Outreach and Education Resource Management Strategy (RMS) for the Experiment – multiple reasons to chose this particular chapter – Find a free software with Open Access (must not require financial contribution or disclosure of personal information to participate)
  • 8. What We Did to Create the Base Document •All  RMS’s  have  the  same  prescribed   format. First draft was an outline with the format and a statement of the required information •Second draft was created using input from a stakeholder focus group that identified key items they would like in the chapter •Third draft was provided for the On-Line Experiment
  • 9. What we Did to Conduct the Experiment • Advertised the experiment to a wide group of experts in Outreach and Education • Advertised the experiment to the active CWP stakeholder community • Created a Pre-Work Session for people to engage prior to an on-line work session • Conducted an on-line review of the document with real time editing • Concurrently conducted an in-room meeting • Used a CrocDoc for the Wiki / free software
  • 10. What Worked / Things We Liked •Received real/ thoughtful feedback •Participants commented on work from others – agreeing or not / was really helpful •People that used it said software was a little buggy but they could see doing something like it again •People like being involved in the early input and the approach
  • 11. Things that Could have Gone Better • The  Software  was  buggy  so  we  didn’t  get  to  see   how it might play out completely • We had HUGE problems with the on-line meeting, almost all related to human error or lack of capacity in the meeting space --- not the technology • We had about 20 people attend the in-person meeting at 7:30 a.m. - we had intentionally made the in-person meeting less convenient hoping that people would attend on-line  but  they  didn’t  trust  the   technology -
  • 12. Results 1. It Works, we just need to find the right software. 2. 14 people provided on-line feedback, & over 30 engaged in the on-line session plus the 20 in the room. 3. We see it initially as needing to be iterative – not giving up the real-time collaboration but being able to do more with people on their own timeframe. 4. We will need to resolve the potential legal issues. 5. We will need to create rules for editing and quality control.
  • 13. See for Yourself - The WIKI Experiment • This was the pre meeting sample: • https://personal.crocodoc.com/kQoaq6v • This is the draft Chapter Now: • http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/docs/cwpu2013/2013prd/Vol3_Ch29_Outreach-and-Engagment_Public-ReviewDraft_Final_PDFed_fk.pdf • This is more about How to Navigate the Water Plan: • http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/docs/cwpu2013/2013prd/NavigationGuide-2013PRD.pdf MWH IRWM Business Strategy
  • 14. Ways to Access Water Plan Information • Visit the Water Plan Web Portal www.waterplan.water.ca.gov Subscribe to Water Plan eNews a weekly electronic newsletter www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/enews 14
  • 15. Questions? Lisa Beutler / MWH lisa.beutler@mwhglobal.com