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Practitioner Updates on the Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration
October 10, 2011

1.      New York to build permit system for large water withdrawals

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill that gives the state permission to build a permitting system for large withdrawals from many of the state's lakes, rivers and streams.  The Nature Conservancy and Cornell University are using ELOHA to assist the State in developing streamflow criteria for the system.  For more information, contact David Klein.

2.  Connecticut statewide streamflow standards bound for approval 
Following an unprecedented 8-month negotiated rulemaking process, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection will submit statewide streamflow standards and regulations to the legislative regulation review committee for final approval in November.  The new regulations stem from a 2005 law requiring the State to develop environmental flow standards for all of its streams. 
3.  New streamflow criteria onboard for Massachusetts  
Massachusetts environmental agencies are wrapping up a two-year stakeholder process to develop a sustainable and integrated water management policy that is expected to include streamflow criteria for protecting intact systems and mitigating flow-impacted systems while fully meeting human needs.  A proposed package of updates to the Water Management Act regulations is expected to be released for public review this fall.
4.  Oregon breaking new ground for e-flow protection in western US
Across the western US, new water storage facilities are being proposed to compensate for loss of natural storage in mountain snowpacks due to climate change.  The Oregon Ecological Flow Technical Advisory Group is developing a rule-making framework to protect “peak and ecological flows” in order to qualify for certain hydrologic infrastructure financing. 

5.   New ELOHA project launched in California

As part of a 5-year, $18.5 million NSF-funded research program, Stanford University scientists are determining flow-ecology relationships for urban streams in the San Francisco area. For more info, read the ELOHA Toolbox case study.

6.  Ohio River basin launches ELOHA
On October 4, 2011, The Nature Conservancy and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection launched an ecological flow study of the Pennsylvania portion of the Upper Ohio basin. The project is funded by Pennsylvania DEP and will support development of a statewide streamflow protection policy.  For more information, contact Michele DePhilip.
7.  ELOHA advances IWRM in  the Magdalena River basin

The Nature Conservancy, Stockholm Environment Institute, and the Colombian Ministry of Environment are collaborating to build a WEAP model of the Magdalena River basin, the largest river basin in Colombia and one of the most biodiverse in the world.  The model will serve as a hydrologic foundation for ELOHA and a decision support system for future water development. For more information, contact Tomas Walschburger.

8.  ELOHA project websites
      How does ELOHA work in practice?  Find out by visiting these new websites:

·        Middle Potomac River Watershed Assessment: Potomac River Sustainable Flow and Water Resources Analysis​.  Presentations posted from the webinar series step through this project’s adaptation of the ELOHA framework.  An excellent resource!!
·        Minnesota ELOHA
·        Virginia ELOHA 
9.  Recent publications
Aldous, A., Fitzsimons, J., Richter, B., and Bach, L. 2011. Droughts, floods, and freshwater ecosystems: evaluating climate change impacts and developing adaptation strategies.  Marine and Freshwater Research 62:223-231.

Alemu, E. T., Palmer, R. N., Polebitski, A., and Meaker, B. 2011. Decision support system for optimizing reservoir operations using ensemble streamflow predictions.  Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 137(72):11. [abstract]

Archfield, S.A., Vogel, R.M., Steeves, P.A., Brandt, S.L., Weiskel, P.K., and Garabedian, S.P., 2010, The Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator: A decision-support tool to assess water availability at ungaged stream locations in Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5227, 41 p. plus CD-ROM. (Revised 2010) [full text]

Armstrong, D.S., Richards, T.A., and Brandt, S.L., 2010, Preliminary assessment of factors influencing riverine fish communities in Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1139, 43 p.  [full text]

Beechie, T.J., Sear, D.A., Olden, J.D., Pess, G.R., Buffington, J.M., Moir, H., Roni, P., and M.M. Pollock. 2010. Process-based principles for restoring river ecosystems. BioScience 60: 209-22.
Boelee, E., Chiramba, T., and Khaka, E., eds. 2011. An Ecosystem Services Approach to Water and Food Security. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme; Colombo: International Water Management Institute.

Gao,Y. Vogel, R.M., Kroll, C.N., Poff, N.L. and J.D Olden. 2009. Development of representative indicators of hydrologic alteration. Journal of Hydrology 374:136-147. 
Hamilton, D. A., and Seelbach, P. W. 2011. Michigan's water withdrawal assessment process and internet screening tool. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Special Report 55, Lansing 

Kanno, Y., and Vokoun, J. C. 2010. Evaluating effects of water withdrawals and impoundments on fish assemblages in southern New England streams, USA.  Fisheries Management and Ecology 17:272-283.

Knight, R.R., Gain, W.S., and Wolfe, W.J., 2011, Modelling ecological flow regime: An example from the Tennessee and Cumberland River basins: Ecohydrology, DOI:10.1002/eco.246
Konrad, C. P., Warner, A., and Higgins, J. V. 2011. Evaluating dam re-operation for freshwater conservation in the Sustainable Rivers Project.  River Research and Applications (published online DOI: 10.1002/rra.1524).

Konrad, C. P. 2011. Environmental flow allocation and statistics calculator. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1166, 46 p. [full text] 

Leonard, P. 2011. Emerging trends in environmental flow science. Georgia Water Resources Conference, April 11-13, 2011, University of Georgia. 

Monk, W. A., Peters, D. L., Curry, A., and Baird, D. J. 2011. Quantifying trends in indicator hydroecological variables for regime-based groups of Canadian rivers.  Hydrological Processes 25(19):3086-3100. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8137

Olden, J. D., Kennard, M. J., and Pusey, B. J. 2011. A framework for hydrologic classification with a review of methodologies and applications in ecohydrology.  Ecohydrology ( DOI: 10.1002/eco.251. (Provides an overview of approaches to hydrologic classification, reviews past applications, and provides a blueprint for implementation)

Olden, J. D., and Kennard, M. J. 2010. Intercontinental comparison of fish life history strategies along a gradient of hydrologic variability.  American Fisheries Society Symposium 73:83-107.

Olden, J.D. and R.J. Naiman. 2010. Incorporating thermal regimes into environmental flows assessments: modifying dam operations to restore freshwater ecosystem integrity. Freshwater Biology 55: 86-107.

Reidy Liermann, C. A., Olden, J. D., Beechie, T. J., Kennard, M. J., Skidmore, P. B., Konrad, C. P., and Imaki, H. 2011. Hydrogeomorphic classification of Washington State rivers to support emerging environmental flow management strategies.  River Research and Applications Published online in Wiley Online Library, DOI: 10.1002/rra.1541.

Richter, B. D., Davis, M., Apse, C., and Konrad, C. P. 2011. A presumptive standard for environmental flow protection.  River Research and Applications. DOI: 10.1002/rra.1511

Sanderson, J. S., Rowan, N., Wilding, T., Bledsoe, B. P., Miller, W. J., and Poff, N. L. 2011. Getting to scale with environmental flow assessment:  the watershed flow evaluation tool.  River Research and Applications Published online in Wiley Online Library ( DOI: 10.1002/rra.1542.

Snelder, T., Booker, D., and Lamouroux, N. 2011. A method to assess and define environmental flow rules for large jurisdictional regions.  Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 47(4):828-840. DOI: 10.1111 ⁄ j.1752-1688.2011.00556.x

Steinman, A. D., Nicholas, J. R., Seelbach, P. W., Allan, J. W., and Ruswick, F. 2011. Science as a fundamental framework for shaping policy discussions regarding the use of groundwater in the State of Michigan: a case study.  Water Policy 13:69-86.

Weiskel, P.K., Brandt, S.L., DeSimone, L.A., Ostiguy, L.J., and Archfield, S.A., 2010, Indicators of streamflow alteration, habitat fragmentation, impervious cover, and water quality for Massachusetts stream basins: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5272, 70 p., plus CD–ROM. [full text]​

10.  ELOHA Toolbox website news

The ELOHA project database was updated in May 2011.  On the ELOHA Toolbox homepage, click on “project database” on the right-hand side, under “Learn More.” 

Share your resources with the entire ELOHA community by posting them.  Case studies, references, links, and text additions all are welcome.  We especially encourage postings on environmental flow policy advances from outside the United States.  Send your contributions to Eloise Kendy.  The site is usefully organized according to the main steps of ELOHA, with cited references linked to a comprehensive bibliography.  Case studies from around the world are being tracked, with your help.   Thank you to all contributors, past and future.
Eloise Kendy, Ph.D.
Director, Environmental Flows Program
The Nature Conservancy
North America Region
415 Monroe Avenue
Helena, Montana 59601
Tel: +1 406 495 9910