Application of a Water Budget for Instream Flows

by Terry Waddle, US Fish and Wildlife Service, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Optimizing the Resources for Water Management


A portion of a water supply reservoir can be dedicated to supplying instream flows. This subreservoir is operated to provide instream fish habitat below the reservoir when releases to the stream channel for other purposes do not provide adequate habitat. A limiting event model, the effective habitat time series, is used to determine when releases to augment streamflow will produce the greatest habitat benefits. Operation rules for the sub-reservoir must consider water rights and past habitat events. An example developed for a proposed water supply reservoir in Colorado shows that use of storage to provide instream flows improves deliveries to other water rights that would potentially sacrifice water to satisfy fixed instream flow requirements.

Subject Headings: Water supply | Streamflow | Water storage | Aquatic habitats | Water rights | Budgets | Reservoirs | Stream channels | Colorado | United States

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