The management of any science-based process has profound impact on the use of science and adaptive management within that process. The panel was charged with evaluating the use of science and adaptive management, and therefore management of the enterprise falls appropriately within this charge. The absence of any synthesis in the draft BDCP draws attention to the fragmented system of management under which it was prepared―a management system that lacks coordination among entities and clear accountability. No one public agency, stakeholder group, or individual has been accountable for the coherence, thoroughness, and scientific integrity of the final product. Rather, the plan appears to reflect the differing perspectives of federal, state and local agencies, and the many stakeholder groups involved, as noted in the introduction to this report. This is not strictly a scientific issue, but fragmented management is a significant impediment to the use and inclusion of coherent science in future iterations of the BDCP. Different science bears on the missions of the various public agencies; different stakeholders put differing degrees of emphasis on specific pieces of science; and different geographical entities require different kinds of science. The panel concludes that without more coherent and unified, the BDCP’s final product, like the current draft, will rely on bits and pieces of science that are not well integrated. Moreover, the lack of coherence in the management of the preparation of the BDCP helps to explain the fragmentation of science and the lack of synthesis.
The discussion of the implementation structure in Chapter 7 of the draft BDCP suggests that the fragmented management that characterizes the preparation of the draft plan is also likely to be a feature of the implementation of the plan that finally emerges. The appointment of a single program manager and creation of an Implementation Office, as envisioned in the draft BDCP, are unlikely―even taken together―to result in a well-integrated, coherent implementation program. The public agencies that are involved in the planning and implementation of the BDCP are a mix of operating and regulatory state and federal agencies. Moreover, their interests are intertwined with those of the stakeholder groups, most obviously water-using and environmental groups. These agencies and stakeholders have differing missions and agendas that are almost certain to conflict from time to time and yet the BDCP has no formal mechanism to deal with such conflicts.
Indeed, the BDCP appears to carve out territorial boundaries that make
fragmented, and even perhaps antagonistic, management of the plan’s implementation more likely. Thus, for example, the BDCP states, “The [Implementation Office] will not be involved in the development or operation of the [State Water Project] and/or [Central Valley Project] facilities” (draft BDCP, p. 7-5). Further, the plan states, “No general delegation of authority by [the California Department of Water Resources] or the [Bureau of] Reclamation to the Program Manager or one of their employees assigned to the [Implementation Office] will occur” (draft BDCP p. 7-7). The plan also proposes that agency personnel be assigned to populate various BDCP implementation committees. This seems to further ensure that inter-agency conflicts and traditional turf battles will be strongly internalized in the management arrangements. The plan, then, envisions that traditional agency missions and turf will be protected, leaving the program manager to navigate through a maze of conflicting interests without any real authority or capacity to resolve conflicts and otherwise ensure that the management approach is integrated.
There is an important literature on the problem of management fragmentation in the planning and operations management of large water schemes (Conca, 2005; Feldman, 2011; Scholz and Siftel, 2005). There is additional helpful literature on network governance (Kettl and Goldsmith, 2004) and collaborative federalism (Emerson and Murchie, 2010). This work underscores the importance of collaboration, the sharing of authority and power, and acknowledgment of the interests of all stakeholders if the large-scale management of water is to be integrated and successful. The panel recommends that the BDCP’s authors give this matter careful attention.
Development and implementation of large restoration and conservation programs such as the BDCP often require a complex structure to incorporate technical, political, and legal realities and the evolving dynamics of both the physical and organizational environments. The panel recommends that the agencies responsible for implementing the BDCP review other examples of large scale restoration programs that have been developed and implemented. One such example is the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area where management coordinates through a General Management Plan executed with several cooperative agreements. Although CalFed dissolved, the former CalFed institutional structure dealt with some of the same management issues. The CalFed experience and associated body of literature could be a useful source of positive and negative lessons.
Another example is the Everglades restoration program (CERP; www.evergladesplan.org), with which several committees of the National Research Council have been involved for many years (NRC, 2006, 2008, 2010c). Since its authorization in the Water Resources Development Act of 2000, the CERP has necessitated the development of a number of coordination processes, agreements, and carefully designed planning and implementation efforts (Figure 6 in Box 2 of this report) to incorporate the unprecedented scope and complexity of the final plan, regulations of the federal and state governments, and stakeholder interests. However, unlike the BDCP, the CERP’s focus was more on
ecosystem restoration than on concerns about endangered and threatened species.
Unlike the seemingly fragmented structure for the BDCP implementation, the authority for implementing the Everglades program lies with both federal and state agencies with a carefully designed planning process and inter-agency agreements in each step. The Everglades management system has accountability in that the federal and state agencies have a formal agreement on cost-sharing of the entire restoration program and the authority to execute the restoration plan. Furthermore, they have coordination mechanisms, such as the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force which is a coordination mechanism for many entities involved in the restoration. Specifically, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), in partnership with the lead state agency, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), are responsible for undertaking the CERP’s implementation. A continuously evolving Integrated Delivery Plan sets the priority projects that must be implemented. Central to the planning and implementation of a particular project is the Project Implementation Report (PIR) developed by a Project Delivery Team, which constitutes a multi-agency team with strong stakeholder participation (Box 2). Active participation by all agencies with authority and preapproved CERP Guidance Memoranda (CGMs) ensure agreement on the plan, scientific basis, and the expected benefits in the PIR before it is submitted for approval and authorization for funding (see Figure 3-3 of NRC, 2006). The PIR includes an evaluation of alternative designs and operations for environmental benefits, the costs, and the engineering feasibility (NRC, 2006). Once a project
Implementation of Everglades Restoration: Structure for Inter-agency Collaboration and Stakeholder Involvement
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Department of the Interior (DOI), and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) are currently implementing a planning process that provides significant opportunity for local, state, federal and tribal governments, as well as public and non-governmental stakeholders to participate in the projects that are being designed and implemented. For each project, an interagency, interdisciplinary Project Delivery Team (PDT) is established. The PDT is led by the USACE and SFWMD Project Managers and includes members from various local, state, federal and tribal governments. Figure 6 illustrates the typical composition and entities that provide input and feedback to the PDTs. Although much work is accomplished in a PDT, additional agency stakeholder and public in
put are received at scheduled points in the planning process. Specifically, such advice is sought as development of project objectives, identification of performance measures, selection of evaluation models, and development and evaluation of alternative plans. Additional opportunities for governmental agencies, stakeholders, and the public to provide input and feedback during the planning process are provided at publicly noticed meetings of the following established groups (a) Governing Board of the SFWMD; (b) South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (SFERTF); (c) South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Working Group; and (d) The Water Resources Advisory Commission (WRAC).
To ensure that the development and implementation of CERP is based on the best and most recent science available, and to ensure that the restoration program is implemented with an adaptive management approach, a multiagency, multidisciplinary science team called RECOVER has been formed. In addition, the USACE and SFWMD have established an Interagency Modeling Center (IMC) to function as a single point of service for the modeling needs of CERP. As the primary organization responsible for regional and sub-regional modeling for CERP modeling, the IMC conducts system‐wide evaluations of CERP implementation plans and updates, and provides modeling support for PDTs.
FIGURE 6. Agency and stakeholder involvement in the project delivery teams (PDT). Figure courtesy of the South Florida Water Management District
is authorized, depending on the funding, a series of technical refinements beginning with detailed designs and ending with construction occurs prior to its operation. Project Cooperation Agreements between the federal and the state partner are obtained prior to the initiation of construction. The current progress of CERP has demonstrated the need for formal agreement among partners. One example of such as agreement is the Design Agreement between the USACE and SFWMD (http://www.evergladesplan.org). Implementation of the agreement is ensured by an interagency unit known as the Design Coordination Team (DCT), which oversees the schedules and budgets, plans and specifications, and contractual work.
However, no matter how good the management structure may be, it is no guarantee of progress; it is a necessary but not a sufficient condition. Experience with large restoration projects elsewhere, and especially in the Delta, reveals that progress will be affected by lawsuits, economic crises, unexpected (and expected) environmental events, cost overruns, political changes, and so on. Yet the literature and examples mentioned here show that management of complicated systems, where more than one agency has management responsibilities, can be successful as long as there is adequate coordination and clear accountability. Apparently, the new deputy secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency has the BDCP as his major responsibility, which is an encouraging development. The panel recommends that the BDCP’s authors give this matter careful attention, because an appropriate system of management is necessary but not sufficient for the use of coherent, synthesized science in future iterations of the BDCP and a successful adaptive management program.