Practitioner updates on the Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration, a scientific framework for determining and applying environmental flows at large regional scales.
10 May, 2013


1.       New York enacts new water withdrawal regulations
The Water Resources Protection Act, which took effect in February 2012, requires New York State to issue water withdrawal permits, and authorizes the development of
quantitative streamflow standards that maintain aquatic life.  The new water
withdrawal permit regulations went into effect in April 2013.  The scientific foundation for recommended streamflow standards is being established through a facilitated interdisciplinary application of ELOHA.  For more information on the ELOHA process, contact David Klein, dklein@tnc.org

2.       Massachusetts finalizes statewide environmental flows framework
The final Framework of the Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) was released in November 2012 following public review. The SWMI framework
describes the methodology for defining Safe Yield in each of the Massachusetts' 27
watersheds, as well as how streamflow criteria will be used to issue water permits.
Both the social and scientific processes of SWMI closely follow the ELOHA framework.  Four water suppliers are testing the framework. Next, the Department of
Environmental Protection will promulgate regulations to implement SWMI.

3.       Susquehanna River Basin Commission adopts new low-flow protection policy
In December, SRBC's four Commissioners representing New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania and the federal government adopted new, ecology-based criteria for evaluating water withdrawal applications.  The criteria protect seasonal ecosystem flow needs, as determined through an ELOHA process.  The new policy, technical guidance, and detailed summary of the policy changes are posted online.

4.       Massachusetts passes dam removal law
A new law (Chapter 448 of the Acts of 2012) will make it easier to repair or remove unsafe dams and coastal and inland flood control infrastructure by creating a $20.1 million state fund for loans and grants to local governmental bodies, charitable organizations and private dam owners.  State agencies will administer the funds through robust programs in dam safety, coastal zone management and ecological restoration.  An alliance of conservation organizations, engineers, water suppliers and municipalities advocated for enactment of the law.
5.       New web-based software estimates daily streamflow at ungaged sites
The Connecticut River Unimpacted Streamflow Estimation (CRUISE) tool combines the utility of catchment delineation at any location along a stream with the estimation
and serving of daily streamflow information, thus building a hydrologic foundation
for ELOHA.  Free downloads and documentation are available online.
6.       US Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center releases GeoEFM 1.0
GeoEFM is an ArcMap extension that supports spatial analyses commonly used during applications of the Ecosystem Functions Model (HEC-EFM).  New install packages are available online, where you will find an array of environmental flow
tools, including HEC-EFM, HEC-RPT, HEC-RAS, and HEC-ResSIM.  Like all HEC software, these are free and downloadable and are supported by HEC training courses.  For more information, contact John Hickey.
7.       New on the ELOHA Toolbox:  Instream flow protection under the Clean Water Act
As of November 2012, eight states and three tribes had adopted explicit narrative
criteria for protection of instream flows into their state water quality standards
under the United States Clean Water Act (CWA).  Many more states are in the process of developing hydrologic standards under the CWA. This table provides narrative language in water quality standards of these states and tribes
relating to hydrologic criteria.
8.     Latest science on Salmonids and Flows compiled in special issue
The December 2013 issue of Fisheries Management and Ecology presents the latest
science on streamflow needs for salmonids.  The table of contents is attached to
this email.
9.       New projects
Hydrologic Needs Assessment for Healthy Prairie Wetlands, Montana.
By establishing clear links between wetland functions and wetland hydrology, this
project provides a basic scientific foundation for informed land- and water-use
decisions that affect prairie wetland hydrology.  Funded by US Environmental
Protection Agency's Healthy Watersheds Initiative, the first project phase will be
completed later this month.  For more information, contact Lynda A. Saul, Montana
Wetland Program Coordinator.
10.  New publications

Arthington, A.H. and S.R. Balcombe (2011).  Extreme hydrologic variability and the
boom and bust ecology of fish in arid-zone floodplain rivers: a case study with
implications for environmental flows, conservation and management. Ecohydrology 4:
Arthington, A.H., Mackay, S.J., James, C.S., Rolls, R.J., Sternberg, D., Barnes, A.,
Capon, S.J.  (2012). Ecological-limits-of-hydrologic-alteration: a test of the ELOHA
framework in south-east Queensland. Waterlines 75, National Water Commission,
Balcombe S.R., A.H. Arthington, M.C. Thoms and G.G. Wilson (2011).  Fish assemblage patterns across a gradient of flow regulation in an Australian dryland river system. River Research and Applications 27(2): 168-183.
Belmar, O., Bruno, D., Martínez-Capel, F., Barquín, J., Velasco, J. (2013) Effects
of flow regime alteration on fluvial habitats and riparian quality in a semiarid
Mediterranean basin. Ecological Indicators 30, pp. 52 - 64
Karim F., A. Kinsey-Henderson, J. Wallace, A.H. Arthington and R. Pearson (2012).
Modelling wetland connectivity during overbank flooding in a tropical floodplain in
north Queensland, Australia. Hydrological Processes 26 (18): 2710-2723.
Kerezsy A. S.R. Balcombe, A.H. Arthington and SE. Bunn. (2011). Continuous
recruitment underpins fish persistence in the arid rivers of far western Queensland,
Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 62: 1178-1190.
Kraljevic A, Meng J-h, Schelle P. 2013. The seven sins of dam building. WWF
International - Freshwater Programme & WWF Germany [full text]
Linhard, S. M., J. F. Nania, C. L. Sanders, Jr., and S. A. Archfield. (2012).
Computing daily mean streamflow at ungaged locations in Iowa by using the Flow
Anywhere and Flow Duration Curve Transfer statistical methods. U.S. Geological
Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5232, 50 p. [full text]
Medeiros, E.S.F. and AH. Arthington (2011). Flood inundation and the temporal
dynamics of floodplain waterholes in an Australian dryland river. In: "Floodplains:
Physical Geography, Ecology and Societal Interactions." Nova Science Publishers.
Sternberg, D., S.R. Balcombe, J.C. Marshall, J. Lobegeiger, A.H. Arthington (2012).
Subtle 'boom and bust' response of Macquaria ambigua to flooding in an Australian
dryland river. Environmental Biology of Fishes 93: 95-104.
Zhang, Yongyong, Angela H. Arthington, Stuart E. Bunn, Stephen Mackay, Jun Xia ,
Mark Kennard (2012). Classification of flow regimes for environmental flow
assessment in regulated rivers: the Huai River Basin, China. River Research and
Applications 28 (7): 989-1005.
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.
The ELOHA Toolbox is moving!  As of July 1, ELOHA Toolbox users should get
redirected to http://www.conservationgateway.org.  Please let me know if you have any difficulties accessing the new website.
Feel free to forward this newsletter.



Eloise Kendy, Ph.D.
Senior Freshwater Scientist

The Nature Conservancy
North America Region
415 Monroe Avenue
Helena, Montana 59601
Tel: +1 406 495 9910


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