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ELOHA News Winter 2011

Practitioner Updates on the Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration
December 6, 2011
1.  Connecticut Enacts Statewide Environmental Flow Rules

On November 29, the State of Connecticut gave final approval to new environmental flow regulations that establish flow protection for all rivers and streams in the state and govern the timing and amount of water that dams and other diversions must release into streams.  The new framework sets flow protection goals for each stream reach based on a four-part classification system and include a strong public participation component in this goal setting process.   The seasonal release requirements are based on the relative size of the reservoir or impoundment.  The smaller dams must only release a single flow as spills ensure most of the hydrograph is intact.  The rules also provide flexibility and safeguards for water suppliers to minimize impacts on their ability to meet water supply needs and ensure public health and safety.  For more information, read news coverage and a near-final version of the Revised Stream Flow Regulations

2.  USDA-Forest Service launches ELOHA in Montana

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is matching in-kind support from Trout Unlimited and the Clark Fork Coalition for a USDA-Forest Service-led application of ELOHA to develop biologically based instream flow metrics for Northwest Montana. The project began in October 2011 and will extend through March 2013.  The results will be used to secure instream flow rights for more than 700 forest streams and rivers, and to inform ongoing programs to restore endangered salmonid populations.  For further information, please contact project coordinator Robert Diebel.
3.   Tribes add environmental flows to regional water plan in Oklahoma

The Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations have begun developing a regional water plan for their treaty territory, which encompasses southcentral and southeastern Oklahoma. The water plan will involve the determination of consumptive and non-consumptive needs for water; therefore the Nations have initiated an instream flow study for the river basins of the region. The development of the water plan is expected to take five to seven years and involve numerous stakeholders, partners and cooperators.  For more information, contact Barney Austin.
ELOHA Toolbox website

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.