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A Framework for Monitoring, Reporting and Managing Dam Operations for Environmental Flows at Sustainable Rivers Project Sites

Higgins, Jonathan V.; Konrad, Christopher P. ; Warner, Andrew; Hickey, John T.

Suggested citation: Higgins, J. V., C. P. Konrad, A. Warner, and J. T. Hickey (2011). A framework for monitoring, reporting and managing dam operations for environmental flows. Version 1.0. SRP measures working group.

This document is intended to encourage more effective monitoring of the results of efforts to modify dam operations at Sustainable River Project (SRP) sites. It provides a framework and approaches for monitoring environmental flow prescriptions and components of freshwater ecosystems that are expected to respond to them. This information can guide adaptive management of dams to be more efficient and effective in achieving near‐term objectives for environmental flow releases and to report on longer‐term project effectiveness in conserving biodiversity/sustaining ecosystems where flow management has been in place. Methodological details on monitoring techniques and designs are not provided in this document, as monitoring plans should be developed with scientists who will be responsible for the work. Monitoring plans must address site‐specific issues including the particular questions affecting water management decisions, methods for measuring local ecosystem responses, the sampling capacity given environmental heterogeneity and natural variation, and the resources and planning to support monitoring, statistical analyses and reporting. This document focuses on ecological and environmental responses and does not address socioeconomic monitoring, which is important for evaluating the results of the SRP but requires the development of additional approaches and documentation.