Keywords:anadromous fish, biological opinion (BiOp), Central Valley Project (CVP), ecosystem management, endangered species, native fish, Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, upper watershed management
Record-low counts of Delta smelt at a time of persistent drought underscore the importance and challenges of managing freshwater flows for the benefit...
Record-low counts of Delta smelt at a time of persistent drought underscore the importance and challenges of managing freshwater flows for the benefit of fishes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta while also meeting human demands for water. Understanding the effects of water flows on fishes is central to understanding how the Delta ecosystem functions and is key to achieving the state’s coequal goals of “providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta ecosystem … in a manner that protects and enhances … the values of Delta as an evolving place”. The economic, ecological, and social costs of scientific uncertainty in water management controversies are significant - and to some degree unavoidable.
Scientific findings that relate fishes and flows increasingly guide decisions on how to manage flows for the well-being of threatened or endangered species in the Delta. Many studies – and management decisions – rely on correlations between water flows and fish populations. But the decisions warrant fuller understanding of precisely how the flows affect the fishes. Knowledge of these underlying mechanisms is likely to facilitate adaptive management by clarifying uncertainty and risk, by creating specific expectations for outcomes and by strengthening testable hypotheses. This report therefore recommends, first and foremost (there are other recommendations as well), redoubling effects to identify causes and
effects concerning fishes and flows in the Delta.
It is the policy of the California Water Impact Network to: • Oppose and work to defeat the construction of the Twin Tunnels...
It is the policy of the California Water Impact Network to:
• Oppose and work to defeat the construction of the Twin Tunnels Project which would divert water from the Sacramento River to the South Delta pumps before it gets to the Bay-Delta.
• Support and work to achieve the reduction in Delta exports to a maximum of 3 million acre-feet per year. Oppose any increased Delta exports to Central and Southern California.
• Support and work to achieve the elimination of paper water from State Water Project and Central Valley Project contracts.
• Support regional water self-sufficiency through conservation, recycling, storm water capture and other “soft path” means.
• Support upgrading Delta levees to withstand both sea level rise and the risk of a major earthquake.
• Support increased water supply reliability for State Water Project urban areas by reinstatement of the Urban Water Preference in State Water contracts and returning the Kern Water Bank to the public to store
the Urban Preference south of the Delta as a drought supply.
Adaptive management is the process of incorporating new scientific and programmatic information into the implementation of a project or plan to ensure that...
Adaptive management is the process of incorporating new scientific and programmatic information into the implementation of a project or plan to ensure that the goals of the activity are being reached efficiently. It promotes flexible decision-making to modify existing activities or create new activities if new circumstances arise (e.g., new scientific information) or if projects are not meeting their goals.
The complex and dynamic nature of ecosystems make their restoration and management amenable to an adaptive management approach, and the concept is being implemented at scales that include entire regions or river basins. Adaptive management has been used to guide several major ecosystem restoration efforts with involvement by the federal government, including those on the Colorado and Platte rivers. Some of these adaptive management efforts have been specifically authorized by Congress, whereas other efforts have been formulated by agencies.
Adaptive management has also been proposed as a guiding principle for several new and ongoing major restoration efforts, including those in the Chesapeake Bay and Lake Tahoe.
The concept of adaptive management is straightforward, but its implementation can be difficult. A preliminary review of federal adaptive management efforts related to ecosystem restoration projects suggests that governance structures, management protocol and other factors vary widely. Additionally, the scope and timing of efforts employing the term “adaptive management” seems to vary among these projects. Where adaptive management has been implemented, it has encountered challenges. While adaptive management theoretically uses the best available science and monitoring to guide a project or program towards its stated goals, in practice the process can be affected by a number of outside factors.
As the number of federal adaptive management efforts grows, Congress may revisit its role in shaping adaptive management programs in legislation. Some argue that Congress should do more to provide specific direction for major adaptive management initiatives in order to make adaptive management more consistent among these efforts. Others contend that Congress should allow federal agencies or restoration governing bodies to shape their own adaptive management programs, thus providing them with flexibility to match their program to their restoration needs.
In addressing adaptive management, Congress may face decisions regarding the implementation guidelines and authorizations it provides these efforts, funds to establish and carry out these programs, and oversight issues.
This report provides an introduction to the concept of adaptive management. It focuses on the application of this concept to large, freshwater aquatic ecosystem restoration projects with multiple stakeholders. A summary of the benefits and drawbacks of adaptive management for these projects is provided, along with analysis of potential issues associated with various governance models for these efforts. The potential role for Congress in addressing adaptive management is also discussed. As an appendix, the report summarizes the structure and implementation of federal adaptive management efforts to date five ecosystems: Glen Canyon/Colorado River, Platte River, Lower Colorado River, Missouri River, and Florida Everglades.
This report proposes a reconciliation approach for addressing 160 years of accumulated problems and for managing the Delta’s ecosystem in the future. Reconciliation...
This report proposes a reconciliation approach for addressing 160 years of accumulated problems and for managing the Delta’s ecosystem in the future. Reconciliation ecology seeks to improve conditions for native species while recognizing that most ecosystems have been altered irrevocably by human use and will continue to be used to support human goals. Improving ecosystem conditions for native species must, therefore, happen in a context of continuing use of land and water by humans and continuing physical and biological change.