Laura Forni

Staff Scientist


Davis, CA
laura.forni@sei-us.org
skype: laura_forni
+1 (530) 753-3035 x6#

Laura is an agricultural and resources economist. Her research interests relate to hydro-economic models integration, climate change, and its hydrological and economical implications on water use. Another area of interest is to expand her research towards water conservation strategies and economic development in Latin America. Her graduate research work integrated WEAP with an economic model developed by Richard Howitt at UC Davis. Laura's research focused on a new integration method for economic and hydrological models incorporating farmers' regional water valuation functions from the State Wide Agricultural Production Model (SWAP) into the WEAP application for the Sacramento Basin in California. Her interdisciplinary work has resulted on a project at SEI regarding economic assessment of climate change for the entire Central Valley in California with the objective of applying this new integration method. Laura received her B.S. in Managerial Economics and Master's degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from University of California Davis.


Recent Publications by Laura Forni

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Exploring scientific information for policy making under deep uncertainty

Environmental Modelling & Software, 86, 232-247

Author(s): Forni, L. ; Galaitsi, S. ; Mehta, V. ; Escobar, M. ; Purkey, D. ; Depsky, N.; Lima, N.A.
Year: 2016

Research Area(s): Water Resources

Description: This paper describes the use of a Decision Space Visualization (DSV) that condenses model results to tackle complex water management challenges. It presents tools for discussing scientific results to decision-makers in two case studies, La Paz/El Alto, Bolivia, and Yuba County, California. Visualization output from the case studies combines spatiotemporal, multivariate and multirun/multiscenario information to produce information corresponding to the objectives and uncertainties described by key actors. These tools can manage complex data and distill scientific information into accessible formats.
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Getting the picture: using data visualization to make complex models more accessible to policy-makers

SEI fact sheet

Author(s): Forni, L. ; Galaitsi, S.
Year: 2015

Research Area(s): Water Resources

Description: This fact sheet focuses on the role of data visualizations in participatory scenario-based adaptation planning, and the value of succinctly presenting the results of hundreds of model runs within a single chart to inform planning discussions. Building on the RAND Corporation's work on robust decision-making, SEI has developed the Robust Decision Support (RDS) approach, which combines sophisticated water systems modelling, data visualization and participatory techniques. The goal is to work with stakeholders to identify strategies that demonstrate satisfactory outcomes over a broad range of possible futures, or scenarios. This fact sheet describes the role of data visualizations in that process.
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Robust decision-making under uncertainty for a moorland ecosystem's water resources management under scenarios of climate variability

Presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, 9-13 December 2013

Author(s): Flores, F. ; Forni, L. ; Escobar, M. ; Purkey, D.
Year: 2013

Research Area(s): Water Resources

Description: This study focuses on modeling the moorland ecosystem's water resources management under climate variability, and strengthening the capacities of local actors through a robust decision-making under uncertainty framework to analyze and plan water resources use in the region of Piura, Peru. The objective is to determine the reliability of the moorland ecosystem's water supply and to provide relevant hydrological information under scenarios of climate variability and other non-climate uncertainties. As a first step, a participatory workshop was carried out to identify the uncertainties that define availability of water resources, the potential strategies for adaptation to improve existing conditions, and the performance indicators by which to assess these uncertainties and strategies, using the XLRM assessment framework (eXogenous uncertainties, policy Levers, Relationships, and Measures). This study also used the WEAP (Water Evaluation And Planning system) platform to support water resources planning and decision-making under uncertainty e.g. climate change and other stresses in the system. The model includes the results of the XLRM framework and seeks to determine the importance that the moorlands have on the regional water system.
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Un Marco de Apoyo a la Toma de Decisiones para Adaptación al Cambio Climático

Final report: Modelling the Role of Páramo in Hydrology under a Climate Change Scenario

Author(s): Flores, F. ; Escobar, M. ; Purkey, D. ; Forni, L. ; Segura, H.
Year: 2012

Research Area(s): Water Resources

Description: Este informe describe un proceso para el apoyo a la toma de decisiones para adaptación al cambio climático en el sector de agua que combina distintas herramientas para analizar opciones bajo incertidumbre. Nuestro proceso combina el marco XLRM de la RAND Corp., el sistema Ensamble para automatizar la corrida de modelos y la visualización de datos con Tableau, utilizados juntos bajo un marco analítico de toma de decisiones robusta. Nuestro marco de apoyo les permite a los planeadores (1) adquirir y/o desarrollar datos sobre el vínculo entre condiciones potenciales futuras de clima y riesgo; (2) evaluar el impacto de diferentes escenarios climáticos en el desempeño y los resultados de distintas medidas; y (3) evaluar estrategias de adaptación frente a riesgo asociados con el clima. Es importante anotar que este proceso también ayuda a los administradores de recursos hídricos a responder a otras incertidumbres no relacionadas con el cambio climático (cambios demográficos, cambio en regulaciones, etc.).
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