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One of the key concepts used by the Eastern Division for protection of freshwater resources is that of environmental flows.  The flow regime is a primary determinant of the structure and function of aquatic and riparian ecosystems for streams and rivers. Hydrologic alteration has impaired riverine ecosystems on a global scale, and the pace and intensity of human development greatly exceeds the ability of scientists to assess the effects on a river-by-river basis.

For more information on environmental flows outside of the Eastern Division, please see the the Conservation Practices environmental flows

Ecological Limits of Hydrological Alteration (ELOHA)

The Nature Conservancy has worked with a variety of partners to develop an approach to determining and implementing environmental flows at the regional scale using existing hydrological and biological information. Learn more at the ELOHA homepage, or read the original ELOHA framework paper.

The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern Division also works with partners on recommendations for river-specific environmental flow protection and restorations using the Ecologically Sustainable Water Management (ESWM) framework and the Savannah River Process

Other important literature

Richard M. Vogel, Jack Sieber, Stacey A. Archfield, Mark P. Smith, Colin D. Apse,and Annette Huber-Lee. Relations among storage, yield, and instream flow. 2007. Water Resources Research, Vol. 43. Online linkage.

B. D. Richter, M. M. Davis, C. Apse and C. Konrad. A Presumptive Standard for Environmental Flow Protection. 2011. River Research and Applications. Online linkage

Smith, M.P. Finding Common Ground: How Advocacy Coalitions Succeed in Protecting Environmental Flows. Journal of the American Water Recourses. 2009. 45(5):1100-1115. Online linkage. ​​​


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