SCCWRP and its partners in the San Diego River Watershed have completed a demonstration study showing how to use a newly developed suite of flow-ecology modeling tools to optimally manage flows across a watershed.
The modeling tools, which explain how hydrological flow alterations affect
biological indicators of stream condition, were co-developed by SCCWRP to help watershed managers balance the often-conflicting goals of maintaining flows, improving water quality and supporting in-stream biological health.
The findings of the San Diego River Watershed demonstration study are chronicled in a technical report published in October.
SCCWRP and its partners at Colorado State University and the U.S. Geological Survey ran the demonstration study as part of a broader study that is developing a scientific framework that guides how to set ecologically relevant flow targets for streams across Southern California. This regional framework is based on the national Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) framework.
SCCWRP already has begun offering training to watershed managers on how to use the flow-ecology modeling tools, which take into account a wide variety of factors, including projected changes in land use and installation of runoff controls.
The tools will be particularly useful for municipalities and other agencies tasked with managing watersheds with impacted and impaired flows.
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