Unimpaired streamflow has long been the benchmark against which current stream flows are evaluated for environmental purposes. The underlying assumption is that if there is water in a stream, the stream must be healthy. A closer look shows why unimpaired flows is often a flawed basis for environmental management, particularly when water quality is the primary problem. Environmental flow studies seem ubiquitous. In California’s Shasta River watershed, a tributary to the Klamath River, unimpaired flows have been the basis of recent Instream Flow Needs studies. Recently, another study uses unimpaired flows for a larger regulatory effort to address California’s Water Action Plan.

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Source: California Water News feed

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