Managing the Delta: The Governance Challenges of Adaptive Management

15th Annual Travers Conference in Ethics & Accountability

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a critically important public resource for California and the Nation. Much of our state’s drinking water flows through the Delta and Delta water irrigates millions of acres of California farmland. As the largest estuary on the West Coast, the Delta ecosystem supports native fish and wildlife and offers many recreational opportunities. Because of these many, often competing, uses, effective management of the Delta has been challenging, if not intractable. An independent agency—the Delta Stewardship Council—was created by the California legislature in 2009 to produce a plan to manage the Delta. The legislation instructed the Council to treat the goals of water consumption and ecosystem protection as “co-equal” and to produce an enforceable plan to manage the Delta by January 1, 2012. A central feature of the new Delta Plan is called “adaptive management,” a science-based strategy that adapts the management regime to changing environmental conditions and resource needs. But how, in practice, will this strategy reconcile the political and ethical tradeoffs produced by the competing uses of the Delta? This conference convenes a group of expert panelists to describe the key features of the new Delta Plan and to discuss the governance challenges associated with implementing the Plan.

This is a public conference and no registration is required

Link To: Conference Agenda

Date & Time: March 2, 2012 9AM-4PM

Location: Heyns Room, Faculty Club, UC Berkeley

  • Co-Sponsored by
  • Travers Program in Ethics and Accountability in Government
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • The Commonwealth Club of California