A Water Budget Approach to Instream Flow Maintenance

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by Terry Waddle, U.S. Fish and Wildl Serv, Ft Collins, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources

Abstract: Storage reallocation is a current issue at many Federal water storage facilities that have hydroelectric generation. Allocation of storage to support instream flows is one of the changes being considered. In this paper, a portion of storage is dedicated to supplying instream flows. I define this storage account as a 'water budget' and operate it to provide instream habitat below the reservoir I use a limiting event model, the effective habitat time series, to determine when water budget releases will produce habitat benefits. The effective habitat time series acts as a surrogate for fish population and reflects the mid to long term influence of water management decisions on the life cycle of a fish species. I develop an operation rule for the water budget that considers water rights and habitat events. The paper concludes by contrasting the habitat benefits of water budget operation with fixed minimum flow requirements.

Subject Headings: Water storage | Hydro power | Budgets | Aquatic habitats | Water resources | Instream flow | Hydrologic models | Water flow |

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