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Developing Performance Measures

What We Do...


The Delta Stewardship Council assists partner agencies, stakeholders and other parties interested in furthering the coequal goals by tracking and reporting on implementation of the Delta Plan.


The figure below lists the key process steps for implementing the measures. Step 1: develop start up materials, project charter, and work plan; Step 2: assess existing performance measures with criteria based screening to identify refinement opportunities; Step 3: public and stakeholder outreach focusing on metrics, baseline/reference conditions, and source data; Step 4: begin efforts to populate new and refined performance measures; Step 5: the full suite of performance measures will be publicly reported to track Delta Plan progress.

Staff will update performance measures periodically according to Water Code 85300(c).



A deeper dive...


An important role of Performance Management is constantly maintaining the linkages between the Delta Plan’s goals, policies, and recommendations, as well as the efforts supporting them. The Council tracks progress based on the Delta Plan’s elements, and then reports the outcomes. Performance measures are flexible and update periodically as new technology is created and delta system conditions evolve.


The Delta Plan contains 159 Performance Measures categorized by three types:

  • 122 Administrative Measures
  • 15 Output Measures
  • 22 Outcome Measures

Administrative Measures: describe decisions made by policy makers and managers to finalize plans or approve resources (funds, personnel, projects) for implementation of a program or group of related programs.


Output Measures: (also known as “drivers”) evaluate the factors that may be influencing outcomes and include on-the-ground implementation of management actions, such as acres of habitat restored or acre-feet of water released, as well as natural phenomena outside of management control (such as a flood, earthquake, or ocean conditions).


Outcome Measures: evaluate responses to management actions or natural outputs.


Why We Do It...


An extension of the Adaptive Management plan includes an inner working Performance Management Framework. As defined in the Delta Reform Act, Adaptive Management is “a framework and flexible decision making process for ongoing knowledge acquisition, monitoring, and evaluation leading to continuous improvements in management planning and implementation of a project to achieve specified objectives.” Performance Management is a systematic process used to improve effectiveness in the accomplishment of the organization’s mission, goals, or objectives through tracking and evaluating the organizations performance results.



Figure 1 Adaptive Management can be seen above in Step 4 of the framework: "Select action(s) (research, pilot or full-scale) and develop performance measures." This important function conducts its own sub-process called the Performance Management Framework.


Figure 2 The Performance Management Framework provides output and outcome information the Council can use to adapt future policies and recommendations.


Collectively these conceptual models provide a common understanding of how performance and adaptive management work in unison to create a report system that effectively manages collecting data on performance.

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)