Adaptive management is a science-based, structured approach to environmental management. It aids decision-making in the face of uncertainty about outcomes by emphasizing the acquisition and use of new knowledge, experience, and stakeholder input in management of natural resources under changing conditions.
The Delta Reform Act of 2009 calls for adaptive management of efforts to make water supplies more reliable and ecosystems healthier. It is often talked about, but as a comprehensive, science-based process, adaptive management is little used in the Delta. This is not a unique situation; many environmental management programs around the world have encountered difficulties in managing natural resources adaptively.
The Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB) reviewed how adaptive management is perceived and used in the Delta and how it might be applied more efficiently and effectively. This report identifies impediments to adaptive management in the Delta and makes recommendations for incorporating adaptive approaches to improve management of the Delta and its resources.