Assessment of Water Capacity and Availability from Unregulated Stream Flows Based on Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) Environmental Flow Standards

Z. Zhang, J. W. Balay, K. M. Bertoldi, P. O. MaCoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Determination of water resources management thresholds, such as conservation releases, passby flows, and water availability limits, is a contemporary challenge facing water resources managers. With recent advancements in environmental flow science, including the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA) framework, environmental flow standards can be developed for a variety of stream types throughout a particular region or watershed. Environmental flow standards typically cover the entire natural flow regime, including low-flow, seasonal-flow (medium), and high-flow components. However, it can be difficult for water resources managers to directly apply these standards to establish practical management thresholds. This study proposes a novel approach to assessing water capacity based on ELOHA environmental flow standards. The procedure entails iterative simulations to identify withdrawal limits for gaged streams and regional regression analysis to predict withdrawal limits for ungaged streams. The approach was applied for 63 reference gages with long-term, continuous, minimally altered, daily streamflow records within the Susquehanna River basin. The results of the investigation demonstrate that the approach can be used to assess water capacity from gaged and ungaged streams via iterative withdrawal simulations and regional regression analysis respectively. The regression equation developed through analysis of the reference gages has an adjusted R-square value of 0.96 and a standard error of 27%. Determination of a water capacity value, based on a suite of environmental flow standards, provides water resources managers with a valuable tool for informing the establishment of water resources management thresholds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1469-1480
Number of pages12
JournalRiver Research and Applications
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Fingerprint

Stream flow
Water resources
streamflow
Availability
Water
Managers
Regression analysis
Gages
water
water resource
Watersheds
gauge
Catchments
regression analysis
Conservation
Rivers
water availability
low flow
simulation
river basin

Keywords

  • ELOHA
  • environmental flows
  • water availability
  • water capacity
  • water resources management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Assessment of Water Capacity and Availability from Unregulated Stream Flows Based on Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) Environmental Flow Standards. / Zhang, Z.; Balay, J. W.; Bertoldi, K. M.; MaCoy, P. O.

In: River Research and Applications, Vol. 32, No. 7, 01.09.2016, p. 1469-1480.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{90b85d0496464d00acc2001795040628,
title = "Assessment of Water Capacity and Availability from Unregulated Stream Flows Based on Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) Environmental Flow Standards",
abstract = "Determination of water resources management thresholds, such as conservation releases, passby flows, and water availability limits, is a contemporary challenge facing water resources managers. With recent advancements in environmental flow science, including the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA) framework, environmental flow standards can be developed for a variety of stream types throughout a particular region or watershed. Environmental flow standards typically cover the entire natural flow regime, including low-flow, seasonal-flow (medium), and high-flow components. However, it can be difficult for water resources managers to directly apply these standards to establish practical management thresholds. This study proposes a novel approach to assessing water capacity based on ELOHA environmental flow standards. The procedure entails iterative simulations to identify withdrawal limits for gaged streams and regional regression analysis to predict withdrawal limits for ungaged streams. The approach was applied for 63 reference gages with long-term, continuous, minimally altered, daily streamflow records within the Susquehanna River basin. The results of the investigation demonstrate that the approach can be used to assess water capacity from gaged and ungaged streams via iterative withdrawal simulations and regional regression analysis respectively. The regression equation developed through analysis of the reference gages has an adjusted R-square value of 0.96 and a standard error of 27{\%}. Determination of a water capacity value, based on a suite of environmental flow standards, provides water resources managers with a valuable tool for informing the establishment of water resources management thresholds.",
keywords = "ELOHA, environmental flows, water availability, water capacity, water resources management",
author = "Z. Zhang and Balay, {J. W.} and Bertoldi, {K. M.} and MaCoy, {P. O.}",
year = "2016",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/rra.2979",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "32",
pages = "1469--1480",
journal = "River Research and Applications",
issn = "1535-1459",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assessment of Water Capacity and Availability from Unregulated Stream Flows Based on Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) Environmental Flow Standards

AU - Zhang, Z.

AU - Balay, J. W.

AU - Bertoldi, K. M.

AU - MaCoy, P. O.

PY - 2016/9/1

Y1 - 2016/9/1

N2 - Determination of water resources management thresholds, such as conservation releases, passby flows, and water availability limits, is a contemporary challenge facing water resources managers. With recent advancements in environmental flow science, including the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA) framework, environmental flow standards can be developed for a variety of stream types throughout a particular region or watershed. Environmental flow standards typically cover the entire natural flow regime, including low-flow, seasonal-flow (medium), and high-flow components. However, it can be difficult for water resources managers to directly apply these standards to establish practical management thresholds. This study proposes a novel approach to assessing water capacity based on ELOHA environmental flow standards. The procedure entails iterative simulations to identify withdrawal limits for gaged streams and regional regression analysis to predict withdrawal limits for ungaged streams. The approach was applied for 63 reference gages with long-term, continuous, minimally altered, daily streamflow records within the Susquehanna River basin. The results of the investigation demonstrate that the approach can be used to assess water capacity from gaged and ungaged streams via iterative withdrawal simulations and regional regression analysis respectively. The regression equation developed through analysis of the reference gages has an adjusted R-square value of 0.96 and a standard error of 27%. Determination of a water capacity value, based on a suite of environmental flow standards, provides water resources managers with a valuable tool for informing the establishment of water resources management thresholds.

AB - Determination of water resources management thresholds, such as conservation releases, passby flows, and water availability limits, is a contemporary challenge facing water resources managers. With recent advancements in environmental flow science, including the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA) framework, environmental flow standards can be developed for a variety of stream types throughout a particular region or watershed. Environmental flow standards typically cover the entire natural flow regime, including low-flow, seasonal-flow (medium), and high-flow components. However, it can be difficult for water resources managers to directly apply these standards to establish practical management thresholds. This study proposes a novel approach to assessing water capacity based on ELOHA environmental flow standards. The procedure entails iterative simulations to identify withdrawal limits for gaged streams and regional regression analysis to predict withdrawal limits for ungaged streams. The approach was applied for 63 reference gages with long-term, continuous, minimally altered, daily streamflow records within the Susquehanna River basin. The results of the investigation demonstrate that the approach can be used to assess water capacity from gaged and ungaged streams via iterative withdrawal simulations and regional regression analysis respectively. The regression equation developed through analysis of the reference gages has an adjusted R-square value of 0.96 and a standard error of 27%. Determination of a water capacity value, based on a suite of environmental flow standards, provides water resources managers with a valuable tool for informing the establishment of water resources management thresholds.

KW - ELOHA

KW - environmental flows

KW - water availability

KW - water capacity

KW - water resources management

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84949267372&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84949267372&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/rra.2979

DO - 10.1002/rra.2979

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84949267372

VL - 32

SP - 1469

EP - 1480

JO - River Research and Applications

JF - River Research and Applications

SN - 1535-1459

IS - 7

ER -