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Verde River Ecological Flows Study Phase II: Integrated Research for Refining Flow-Ecology Response Models

The Nature Conservancy

The purpose of the Verde River Ecological Flows Study is to develop an information base linking hydrologic variation to ecological response on the Verde River. This information is necessary to understand consequences of various water management scenarios. Phase I of the study, with partial funding from AWI, included literature review and an experts’ workshop, where various complex relationships were distilled into concise hypotheses, which were synthesized in the form of flow-ecology response models. The models provide a visual representation of what is understood and what data are still lacking, and formed the basis for the prioritized research agenda developed by workshop participants. The Phase I peer-reviewed report is nearly complete and will provide an integrated synthesis of information and workshop outcomes.

Continuing on the success of Phase I, we will begin implementing the research agenda developed in the workshop - integrated data collection to confirm and further develop flow-ecology response models. Methods for integrated data collection are generally not well developed and have not been applied on the Verde River. We propose integrated data collection at key study sites as a first step in developing methods for geographically broad application on the Verde River and beyond.