Instream Flow Values and Power Production

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by Robert T. Milhous, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Fort, Collins, CO, USA,
Aaron J. Douglas, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Fort, Collins, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Power '87:

Abstract: An approach relating the value of water instream to water flow in the stream results in a continuous function of value versus flow. This function is developed using the Physical Habitat Simulation (PHABSIM) System and can be used to 'trade-off' the value of water used for power production with the water used instream. The value function is in terms of habitat units, in the case of instream use for a fishery, or in terms of recreational space units where the stream flow is used for recreational purposes. The strength of the use of PHABSIM is that the relative value of various flow levels for instream uses is known and can be used in decisions about water allocation. The decision as to the 'best' allocation of the available water is a matter of negotiation between various interest groups. Negotiations between various agencies and management groups are often difficult. One of the issues examined is the role of PHABSIM in lowering transactions costs by facilitating agreement between conflicting groups.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Streamflow | Instream flow | Water flow | Water-based recreation | Aquatic habitats | Flow simulation | Water resources |

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