The impact of visual information on perceptions of water resource problems and management alternatives

Kelli Larson, Robert M. Edsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


To assess changes in human understanding and decision making, the paper examines (1) the influence of visual information on perceptions about groundwater management in Phoenix, Arizona and (2) the correlates and dimensions underlying people's views about water scarcity and mitigation strategies. While perceptions entrenched in ideologies are difficult to change, different types of information (three-dimensional versus two-dimensional) have distinct impacts on the perceived magnitude of problems compared to judgements about their causes and solutions. Overall, visual information may be especially useful for developing a shared understanding of problems and a collective vision for management alternatives. Additional implications of this study for fostering environmental awareness, policy support, and collaborative decision making are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-352
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Environmental perception
  • Information visualisation
  • Public participation
  • Risk communication
  • Water resource planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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