The DELTAS effort asserts that deltas can be transformed from “hot spots of change and vulnerability to seedbeds of sustainability and resilience" . The major research questions DELTAS looks to investigate include:
How do climate change, pressure on resources, and engineering/ infrastructure development make people, biodiversity, and delta ecosystems vulnerable?
How is this vulnerability to be measured?
How do delta areas absorb extreme events? What are the hydrological and ecological thresholds underlying the integrity of a delta region?
What are the relevant local and regional hydrological, biophysical and social stressors for a particular delta system? How do these interact, and how do they vary spatially and over time?
How can one reduce future risk while attaining sustainable development?
We propose to answer the above questions using a research framework broken into four different components. Click on each of the project components to learn more.
- Delta-SRES: Advance sustainability science for deltas by developing a theoretical framework for assessing delta vulnerability and the possibility for transitions to undesired biophysical or socio-economic states under various scenarios of change.
- Delta-RADS: Co-develop, in close collaboration between scientists and stakeholders, an open-access, science-based, integrative modeling framework called the Delta Risk Assessment and Decision Support (RADS) Tool, which can operate at a regional level and provide a quantitative basis for investigating and comparing scenarios and trade-offs for decision making.
- Delta-DAT: Consolidate and make readily available relevant data on bio-physical, social, and economic parameters, which can be used by the community at large to assess critical parameters, compute vulnerability metrics, and provide input data to the Deltas-RADS modeling framework.
- Delta-GDVI: Develop Global Delta Vulnerability Indices that capture the current and projected physical-social-economic status of deltas around the world (“delta vulnerability profiles”). The GDVI is envisioned to be useful in identifying and supporting critical needs and priorities for research, funding, and action.
- Delta-ACT: Work with regional teams and stakeholders to put the products of Delta-SRES, Delta-RADS. and Delta-DAT into action by demonstrating the implementation of the developed framework to three major deltas with diverse physical-social environments: the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM), Mekong, and Amazon deltas.
Deltas exemplify the much talked about “global change, local solutions” paradigm. The DELTAS project presents an opportunity to harness collaboration among a diverse team of international delta experts and local stakeholders toward delta sustainability – together we are prepared and committed to sustainable delta management.
 Romero-Lankao, P., & Dodman, D. (2011) Cities in transition: Transforming urban centers from hotbeds of GHG emissions and vulnerability to seedbeds of sustainability and resilience, Current Opin. Environ. Sustainability, 3(3), 113–120, doi:10.1016/ j. cosust.2011.02.002.