Adaptive management and governance of Delaware River water resources

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This paper articulates the complexities of adaptively managing Delaware River water resources to meet shifting priorities of drinking water supply, drought mitigation and flood mitigation, as well as conflicting stakeholder interests. In particular, the paper examines the short-term and long-term programs that comprise the Delaware River Basin Commission's (DRBC) and the 1954 US Supreme Court Decree parties' successful adaptive management approach that seeks to balance the growing list of demands for water resources management, including drinking water supply, drought management, flood control and cold water fisheries protection. Review of the DRBC's adaptive governance approach reveals the critical complexities of designing experimental, yet science-driven management approaches and effectively engaging various sets of stakeholders in the associated decision-making processes.

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