Presentation on theme: "Trends, Obstacles, and Opportunities Affecting Instream Flow Issues by Tom Annear, Wyoming Game & Fish Department Nina Burkardt, U. S. Geological Survey."— Presentation transcript:
Trends, Obstacles, and Opportunities Affecting Instream Flow Issues by Tom Annear, Wyoming Game & Fish Department Nina Burkardt, U. S. Geological Survey
What is success?
Failure ? Success?
Success as a level of flow protection Full ecosystem protection Comprehensive ecologically based management Partial ecologically based management Threshold level protection No formal flow protection
River systems were built and are maintained by different magnitudes of discharge occurring over time and space. (Hill et al. 1991) Full Ecosystem Protection Comprehensive Protection Partial Protection Threshold Protection
Protection vs. Restoration
River systems were built and are maintained by different magnitudes of discharge occurring over time and space. (Hill et al. 1991) Full Ecosystem Protection Comprehensive Protection Partial Protection Threshold Protection Protection (top-down flow)
River systems were built and are maintained by different magnitudes of discharge occurring over time and space. (Hill et al. 1991) Full Ecosystem Protection Comprehensive Protection Partial Protection Threshold Protection Restoration (bottom-up flow)
How much? Minimum flow Maximum flow
International Instream Flow Program Initiative Tom Annear, Project Manager Del Lobb, Midwest Coordinator Chuck Coomer, Southeast Coordinator Mark Woythal, Northeast Coordinator Charles Hendry, Canadian Coordinator Kathleen Williams, Project Coordinator Christopher Estes, Advisor
Project Features State and provincial F & W agencies Funded with USFWS Multi-State Conservation Program Grant 2006 – 2008 (+)
Project Goal … (identify) trends and opportunities that will help state and provincial fishery and wildlife management agencies develop, maintain, or improve the effectiveness of their instream flow / water management activities and programs.
Project Elements Agency surveys – –Part 1: Consistency and trends with IFC policies –Part 2: Effectiveness of flow activities Post-survey workshop – October 2007 –Agency strategies Final report – winter 2009 (www.instreamflowcouncil.org)
Project Scope Legal elements Public involvement Institutional elements Technical tools (methods)
Are instream flow / water management issues recognized in strategic planning documents?
Are water assessment tools used to prioritize water bodies in need of protection?
Legal Opportunities (State and Provincial)
Most Effective Tools Reservoir management agreements Detailed environmental studies Hydro (FERC) licensing / re-licensing 401 water quality certification Federal endangered species programs
Top Agency Needs More supportive regulations and policies More staff (lack of expertise) More actively supportive public More supportive laws (insufficient laws) More knowledgeable public (insufficient public values)
Workshop Results ( Drivers and Strategies) Legal Institutional Public Involvement
Legal Driver: Policies, laws, and regulations don’t recognize or allow ecologically based flow regimes. –Update documents that identify state and federal legal opportunities –Frame a comprehensive model for states that can serve as a guide for developing or improving legal and institutional approaches
Institutional Driver: Many state fish & wildlife agencies lack instream flow program priorities. –Work through AFWA to increase awareness –Work to increase awareness on individual agencies (by IFC and others)
Public Involvement Driver - The public is not sufficiently knowledgeable of instream issues or supportive of instream values. –Define the audience / Refine the message –Make water messaging part of I&E effort
Public Involvement Driver – State agencies don’t collaborate and partner enough with NGO’s and other stakeholders on water issues. –Engage NGO’s and others (including water users) to communicate instream flow problems and solutions to policy makers
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." Henry Ford ( )
Trends, Obstacles, and Opportunities, Part II Pre-Conference Survey
Online pre-conference survey All registered attendees invited to respond Seven main questions and 1 “bonus” question. Response rate: 57%
Top impediments, by sector
Top contributors to instream flow problem solving success 1.All needed stakeholders are at the table and committed to the process (51%) 2.There is strong legal and policy support for enhanced ecological flows (33%) 3.There is political support for the solution (33%)
Top contributors to instream flow problem solving failure 1.Insufficient legal or policy support for the ecological protection/restoration desired (58%) 2.Participants are too unwilling to compromise (43%) 3.Needed stakeholders are not sufficiently involved or do not participate consistently (40%)
Suggestions Strengthen laws and policies Communicate Engage the public Improve the science Agencies need resources
First: Conduct research Multi-disciplinary Include local knowledge Include stakeholders early –Tension between scientists and other stakeholders –Varying opinions about the level of authority
Then, convey results Benefits of instream flow protection Need for protection Broad –“Clearly tie the improvement of instream flow to economic and public health benefits”
Gain support General public Attentive public Officials Policymakers –Process issues: how? –“Consider other’s needs carefully and try to find solutions for those most opposed to yours.”
Monitor progress Consider Adaptive Management Conduct and publish case studies Share knowledge of what works Explore creative alternatives
Conclusions Science is essential but not sufficient Leadership is key Great need for skills in communication, negotiation Value differences There is no one-fits-all solution, but may be some general principles.