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Recent California Water News

 

Functional Flows

Aug 25, 2020

PPIC Report: Making the most of water for the environment: a functional flows approach for California’s rivers

In California, water and land management activities have substantially altered river flows and degraded river channels and their floodplains. The result has been a precipitous decline in native fish populations, including the collapse of valued salmon fisheries, and widespread imperilment of freshwater biodiversity. Environmental flows—flows in rivers and streams necessary to sustain ecosystem health—are essential to reversing these trends. Yet many rivers in California lack environmental flows. And for those rivers with such protections, environmental flows are typically established at static minimum levels, which fail to preserve the natural seasonal and interannual variability of flow that sustains healthy ecosystems. A new approach to managing environmental water is needed.  Building on previous PPIC work in this area, we recommend a “functional flows” approach for managing water for the environment. … ”  Read more and download report at the PPIC here: Making the most of water for the environment: a functional flows approach for California’s rivers

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