Some “pros and cons” of alternative methods of defining instream flow requirements
Freeman, Mary C.
MetadataShow full item record
The most widely-used approaches for establishing required instream flows to protect stream ecosystems, including standard-setting, incremental methodologies, and hydrologic variability analyses, can be assessed in terms of scientific support and ease in application. Together, these characteristics likely predict the efficacy of application to instream flow policy. Standard-setting approaches are the easiest to apply but least supported biologically. All of the commonly used approaches are necessarily based on generally untested assumptions that simplify the underlying complexity of relations between flow regimes and biological processes in fluvial systems. Combinations of differing methods, tailored to the management issues of specific stream systems and implemented along with monitoring to validate method assumptions, could provide one approach to developing scientifically sound instream flow requirements.