APPLYING ENVIRONMENTAL FLOW ANALYSIS TO UNDERSTAND DRY SEASON HYDROLOGY ON THE CARMEL RIVER
Portions of the Carmel River near Monterey, CA are currently being restored to improve salmonid migration and floodplain connections. The lower portion of the river is currently intermittent in most summers, but it is not clear to what extent this is caused by natural or anthropogenic factors. We informed stakeholders of the hydrology of this system expected under natural conditions during the dry season by applying an environmental flow (e-flow) analysis. This approach helped us identify how the lower Carmel River differed from hydrologically similar reference conditions systems during critical functional flow components (e.g., summer baseflows or spring recession). We found that although winter flows are not different from reference conditions, flow magnitudes during the dry season were lower and there were 125 more zero flow days than observed in similar rivers locally. These results indicate that previous and continuing groundwater pumping may be degrading the ecological health conditions of the river. The e-flow approach provided hydrologic baseline conditions which helped quantify changes in water resource management needed to return streams back to reference condition.
Jessie Doyle (Primary Presenter/Author), California State University - Monterey Bay, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Arev Markarian (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), California State University - Monterey Bay, email@example.com;
John Olson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), School of Natural Sciences, California State University Monterey Bay, CA, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org;