Sustainable Rivers Program: Updating flow ecology assumptions
September 2021 - December 2022
- Cooperative Research Units
- University of Maine
- USGS Oregon Water Science Center
This project supports recent and ongoing efforts of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in evaluation of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) effort known as the Sustainable Rivers Program (SRP) with a focus on performing the science and monitoring needed to quantify ecosystem responses to effects of USACE reservoir operations. Through this work statement and other activities, SRP seeks to cultivate scientific understanding of connections between reservoir operations and ecosystem responses for select rivers in unique ecoregions around the United States. Development of scientific knowledge is leveraged through implementation of environmental flow prescriptions at reservoirs, which alters land-water interactions thereby stimulating ecosystem responses that can be studied and quantified using field monitoring protocols and analysis. If operational changes are studied, resulting knowledge can be used to improve prescriptions and perpetuate a culture of adaptive management. Monitoring does not need to be exhaustive to be effective and requires constructive, informative, and timely guidance from scientists in the field to dam operators.