Decision support tools don't always = Better decisions

Almost everything we do at Foundry Spatial is designed to help people make better, more sustainable decisions about the world around them. What does that really mean, though?

A perfect decision is an illusion - there are always tradeoffs. Using data to make your decision can help you be more informed, but that isn't perfect either. Data is always incomplete and imperfect.

A recent article from the New York Times highlighted a water use conflict in Michigan. The conflict is around groundwater extraction wells used by Nestle for a bottled water plant, and streamflow in a nearby stream. The data is imperfect and incomplete, although the company has monitored their wells for many years. Michigan has a Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool, which according to the article, identified potential adverse impacts from the withdrawals. Yet the company lobbied for an alternative assessment, suggesting that the assessment provide by the tool was too conservative.

Where does this leave us?