In 2014, the California Natural Resources Agency and the U.S. Department of the Interior asked the authors of this paper, as four former leaders of The Delta Science Program, to summarize the challenges faced by water supply and ecological resource managers in this critically important region of Northern California. They concluded that the challenges are so
complex as to meet the definition of a “wicked” problem. Such problems can’t be ignored, defy straightforward characterization, and have no simple solutions. Yet they must be actively managed to maximize
beneficial and minimize adverse outcomes.
In this context, the following paper calls for Delta management to become more nimble and better coordinated.