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SFS Annual Meeting

Thursday, May 23, 2019
09:00 - 10:30

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09:00 - 09:15: / 250 CF A CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS FRAMEWORK

5/23/2019  |   09:00 - 09:15   |  250 CF

A CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS FRAMEWORK Multiple state and local agencies across California share responsibility for setting environmental flow standards to protect and improve the health of freshwater ecosystems. Historically, these efforts were not coordinated and resulted in fragmented and inconsistent development of environmental flow criteria. To improve the scale, coordination, and effectiveness of environmental flow programs, scientists from government agencies, academic institutions, and NGOs have begun to pool knowledge and data, evaluate methods, and develop a statewide approach for establishing environmental flow standards. Participating partners have formed a workgroup to strengthen linkages between research and agency program needs, and provide support for resource managers working to secure environmental flow protections in the state’s rivers and streams. A key product of this effort is the California Environmental Flows Framework, which is structured in two tiers. Tier 1 prescribes statewide environmental flow standards for all streams in the state, based on the natural hydrology of reference gages. Where additional specificity is required, Tier 2 provides guidance for setting flow criteria that is tailored to local management contexts. Collectively, we aim to achieve consistent, scientifically defensible, and coordinated methods for assessing and managing environmental flows in the state.

Ted Grantham (Primary Presenter/Author), University of California, Berkeley, tgrantham@berkeley.edu;


Belize Lane (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Utah State University, belize.lane@usu.edu;


Rob Lusardi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, ralusardi@ucdavis.edu;


Jeanette Howard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, jeanette_howard@tnc.org;


Eric Stein (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, erics@sccwrp.org;


Sam Sandoval (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, samsandoval@ucdavis.edu;


Sarah Yarnell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, smyarnell@ucdavis.edu;


Julie Zimmerman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, julie.zimmerman@tnc.org;


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09:15 - 09:30: / 250 CF AN ECOSYSTEM-BASED APPROACH FOR SELECTING FLOW METRICS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL FLOW APPLICATIONS

5/23/2019  |   09:15 - 09:30   |  250 CF

AN ECOSYSTEM-BASED APPROACH FOR SELECTING FLOW METRICS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL FLOW APPLICATIONS Most approaches quantifying stream flow regimes seek to link hydrology to ecology by determining which flow metrics are ecologically significant. These approaches focus on metrics related to single biological indicators and fail to capture flow regime variation upon which stream ecosystems depend. We suggest a functional flows approach to assessing environmental flow regimes more fully recognizes the array of interactions within stream ecosystems. Further, functional flow components, defined as elements of the natural flow regime known to sustain important ecosystem processes, provide a conceptual model for linking ecological interactions with quantifiable measures of flow. Functional flow components, such as winter floods or spring recession flows, can be quantified by flow characteristics, such as magnitude or rate of change, which are in turn measured by flow metrics, such as 5% exceedance flow or daily percent decrease in flow. By selecting a suite of flow metrics measuring key flow components, the spatial and temporal complexity of flow regimes can be quantified in a manner supportive of ecological processes and aquatic species requirements. Thus, we emphasize the ecology of stream ecosystems when quantifying environmental flow regimes.

Sarah Yarnell (Primary Presenter/Author), University of California, Davis, smyarnell@ucdavis.edu;


Eric Stein (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, erics@sccwrp.org;


Robert Lusardi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, ralusardi@gmail.com;


Julie Zimmerman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, julie.zimmerman@tnc.org;


Ryan Peek (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, rapeek@ucdavis.edu;


Ted Grantham (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Berkeley, tgrantham@berkeley.edu;


Belize Lane (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Utah State University, belize.lane@usu.edu;


Jeanette Howard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, jeanette_howard@tnc.org;


Sam Sandoval (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, samsandoval@ucdavis.edu;


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09:30 - 09:45: / 250 CF CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS FRAMEWORK (CEFF) DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS I

5/23/2019  |   09:30 - 09:45   |  250 CF

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS FRAMEWORK (CEFF) DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS I The California Environmental Flows Framework (CEFF) requires a set of decision support tools to support statewide implementation. We describe emerging open-source technical tools to visualize and quantify functional flow components in California, including: (1) a statewide stream classification and water year typology, (2) dimensionless reference hydrographs, and (3) the functional flows calculator. The functional flows calculator is a hydrologic feature detection algorithm that extracts high-resolution flow metrics from any stream gauge using signal processing techniques. It improves on previous flow metric calculation suites (e.g. IHA, EflowStats) in that it is founded on ecological theory, hydrologically driven, and robust to immense hydrologic variability, supporting flow assessment in large heterogeneous regions like California. This suite of open-source visualization and assessment tools allows users to explore and interact with California’s natural hydrology and assess current alterations or proposed flow management scenarios. These decision support tools are publicly available at https://eflows.ucdavis.edu.

Belize Lane (Primary Presenter/Author), Utah State University, belize.lane@usu.edu;


Sam Sandoval (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, samsandoval@ucdavis.edu;


Eric Stein (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, erics@sccwrp.org;


Sarah Yarnell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, smyarnell@ucdavis.edu;


Ted Grantham (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Geological Survey, tgrantham@usgs.gov;


Julie Zimmerman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, julie.zimmerman@tnc.org;


Jeanette Howard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, jeanette_howard@tnc.org;


Robert Lusardi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, ralusardi@gmail.com;


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09:45 - 10:00: / 250 CF CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS FRAMEWORK (CEFF) DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS II: PREDICTING FUNCTIONAL FLOW METRICS AT UNGAGED LOCATIONS

5/23/2019  |   09:45 - 10:00   |  250 CF

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS FRAMEWORK (CEFF) DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS II: PREDICTING FUNCTIONAL FLOW METRICS AT UNGAGED LOCATIONS California’s environmental flows framework requires decision-support tools for statewide implementation. Given the paucity of active streamgaging sites, there is a particular need for a tool that provides information about stream segments that lack measured streamflow data. We describe the development of machine-learning models that predict expected natural Functional Flow Metrics (FFMs) using a combination of watershed physical features and time-varying weather data. FFMs were computed at two hundred sites with daily flow data spanning 5 to 65 years of record. Model performance was assessed using 1000 randomly selected combinations of calibration and validation data subsets. In general, FFMs representing magnitude were most successfully modeled, whereas FFMs for timing and duration were most difficult to model. We summarize the combinations of watershed physical features and climate that were most important predictors of FFMs. Finally, we illustrate how the models will be applied to the stream network to guide development of environmental flow criteria.

Daren Carlisle (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Geological Survey, dcarlisle@usgs.gov;


Ted Grantham (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Berkeley, tgrantham@berkeley.edu;


Belize Lane (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Utah State University, belize.lane@usu.edu;


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10:00 - 10:15: / 250 CF APPLICATION OF THE CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS FRAMEWORK ACROSS A RANGE OF FLOW MANAGEMENT NEEDS

5/23/2019  |   10:00 - 10:15   |  250 CF

APPLICATION OF THE CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS FRAMEWORK ACROSS A RANGE OF FLOW MANAGEMENT NEEDS Environmental flow management in California reflects the challenges facing natural resource managers globally. Urban and agricultural water demands create ubiquitous pressure on streams from headwaters to large rivers. The California Environmental Flows Framework (CEFF) has been developed to provide a consistent, but flexible approach to address a broad range of environmental flows needs in ways that consider local stream conditions and management priorities. The functional flows approach that underlies CEFF ensures that all elements of the annual hydrograph are considered when developing environmental flow targets. Here, we present two case studies demonstrating applications of CEFF in distinct management contexts. In northern California, we highlight an application in which flow needs for anadromous fish migration in small, unregulated streams are assessed. A second example from southern California illustrates how the flow needs of riparian birds and amphibians are being incorporated in urban wastewater and storm water management planning. Lessons learned through these case studies provide insight to the broad challenges and needs associated with development of environmental flow targets within and beyond California.

Eric Stein (Primary Presenter/Author), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, erics@sccwrp.org;


Ted Grantham (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Berkeley, tgrantham@berkeley.edu;


Sarah Yarnell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, smyarnell@ucdavis.edu;


Sam Sandoval (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, samsandoval@ucdavis.edu;


Belize Lane (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Utah State University, belize.lane@usu.edu;


Julie Zimmerman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, julie.zimmerman@tnc.org;


Jeanette Howard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, jeanette_howard@tnc.org;


Robert Lusardi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of California, Davis, ralusardi@gmail.com;


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10:15 - 10:30: / 250 CF TRANSLATING ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS SCIENCE INTO MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS: THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN, AUSTRALIA

5/23/2019  |   10:15 - 10:30   |  250 CF

TRANSLATING ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS SCIENCE INTO MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS: THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN, AUSTRALIA In Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin, environmental flows being delivered under The Basin Plan are often ‘actively managed’ allowing targeted delivery of environmental water. This provides the opportunity to improve the efficiency of water use over time. The Long-Term Intervention Monitoring (LTIM) and Environmental Water Knowledge and Research (EWKR) projects are delivering the knowledge needed to improve environmental water outcomes. In the Goulburn River, south-east Australia, the translation of this knowledge into management decisions is taking place through a science management partnership of the monitoring team and water managers. We have found that the most effective transfer of information takes place through personal linkages that can transmit new knowledge much faster than the official annual reporting cycle. The emergence of similar stories from elsewhere across the Murray-Darling Basin has underscored the importance of investing in the social processes necessary to translate science into management. To that end the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office has provided additional funds to seed improved collaboration within and across the groups undertaking LTIM and EWKR. This is an important step for improving the integration of the science and management of environmental flows to allow improved translation into practice.

Angus Webb (Primary Presenter/Author), The University of Melbourne, angus.webb@unimelb.edu.au;
Dr Angus Webb is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He originally trained as a marine ecologist before moving into the study and restoration of large-scale environmental problems in freshwater systems. Much of his research centers on improving the use of the existing knowledge and data for such problems. To this end he has developed innovative approaches to synthesizing information from the literature, eliciting knowledge from experts, and analyzing large-scale data sets. He is heavily involved in the monitoring and evaluation of ecological outcomes from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan environmental watering, leading the program for the Goulburn River, Victoria, and advising on data analysis at the basin scale. Angus is currently a co-editing a major new text book on environmental flows science and management. He was awarded the 2013 prize for Building Knowledge in Waterway Management by the River Basin Management Society, and the 2012 Australian Society for Limnology Early Career Achievement Award.

Simon Casanelia (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Goulburn-Broken Catchment Management Authority, simonc@gbcma.vic.gov.au;


Geoff Vietz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Streamology, geoff@streamology.com.au;


Wayne Koster (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, wayne.koster@delwp.vic.gov.au;


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