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Performance Measures

Performance measures translate programmatic goals and objectives into measurable indicators of progress towards implementing the Delta Plan and achieving the coequal goals. They are a vital part of the Delta Stewardship Council’s adaptive management approach to the Delta and provide decision-useful information for Delta stakeholders.


Measuring progress towards the implementation of the Delta Plan will help the Council determine the success of the Delta Plan. Performance measures also ensure proper use of adaptive management techniques in fine-tuning the Delta Plan.


The Council developed performance measures for the Delta Plan over multiple years with the help of state, federal, and local agencies, scientists, and stakeholders. Learn more about the different types of performance measures – administrative, output, and outcome – how they were selected, and why they are important.


In 2018, the Council adopted a refined set of performance measures to better track Delta Plan outputs and outcomes. The current Delta Plan performance measures are in Appendix E of the Delta Plan.


The Performance Measures Dashboard provides access to performance measure information and data and allows agencies involved with implementing the Delta Plan to view and track the status of output and outcome performance measures adopted by the Council in 2018. The broader goal of this dashboard is to share the science-based story behind each performance measure and highlight how each measure fits into the broader Delta landscape.


A print-out guide to the performance measures will be available soon.


Other performance measures and project tracking tools are available here.



The Delta Stewardship Council is holding two open houses to facilitate public review of the Draft Program EIR for the Delta Plan Amendments. The PEIR will be released by November 1, 2017.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
2101 E. Earhart Ave., #100
Stockton, CA 95206

Presentation times: 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.


Thursday, November 2, 2017
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Tsakopoulos Library Galleria
828 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Presentation times: 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.


The open houses will focus on the approach for analysis under CEQA for the proposed Delta Plan Amendments.


Participants are welcome to join the open house at any time. Council staff will be providing brief presentations at set times, listed above.

In addition, the Council will hold a public hearing to receive comments on the Draft Program EIR on Thursday, Decemeber 14, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in West Sacramento, CA. These events are part of a 45-day public comment period for the Draft Program EIR for the Delta Plan Amendments.


Current Amendment Process

The Delta Stewardship Council is further refining the Delta Plan output and outcome performance measures in light of current amendments being developed for the Delta Plan (Delta Levees Investment Strategy and Conveyance Storage and Operations), public comments received, and the Delta Independent Science Board’s recommendation that the Council seek local expert review of the performance measures.


Public Comments


March 9, 2017 Workshop

On March 9, 2017 a workshop was held to receive public comment on the proposed refinements to the performance measures.

To view the event page for this workshop, please click here.

To view the flyer for this workshop, please click here.


To review items dealing with Performance Measures
that occurred before Jan. 1, 2017,
please visit the Performance Measures Archives Page


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)