Adaptive Management and Governance Lessons from a Semiarid River Basin

A Platte River Case Study

Authored by: Chadwin B. Smith , Jason M. Farnsworth , David M. Baasch , Jerry F. Kenny

Water Policy and Planning

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781482227970
eBook ISBN: 9781482227987
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b19534-24

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

Adaptive management and a unique governance structure are at the center of a large-scale species recovery program on the central Platte River in Nebraska. The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (Program) began in 2007 as a joint effort between the states of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska; the US Department of the Interior; water users; and conservation groups to address water use and endangered species needs in this semi-arid river basin. The Program, which arose in response to a number of environmental problems and water management challenges in the three basin states in the early 1990s, manages land and water resources in central Nebraska to ad-dress habitat loss while preserving existing water uses. Uncertainties related to the response of target species to Program management actions are addressed through the application of adaptive management, in this case defined as a rigorous approach for designing and implementing management actions to maximize learning about critical uncertainties that affect decisions while simultaneously striving to meet multiple management objectives. The Program’s Adaptive Management Plan provides the structure for organizing and implementing management actions such as flow releases and sediment augmentation to test priority hypotheses and answer overarching questions related to river form and function and species responses. After nearly 9 years of implementation, a collaborative governance structure that includes stakeholders and clear lines of decision making and communication has the Platte River Program poised to successfully complete one full loop of the six-step adaptive management cycle and actually adjust in response to accumulated learning. This chapter explores those facets of the Platte River Program and how it functions in an area marked by a semi-arid climate and intense surface and groundwater use.

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.