A persistent challenge in integrated water management is the ability to accurately evaluate human and ecological tradeoffs. Two-dimensional (2D) hydraulic models are frequently used to evaluate water management alternatives concerning aquatic species physical habitat needs or preferences. Recent studies have assessed the timing or duration of suitable habitat conditions, but no standardized approach exists to integrate and interpret ecohydraulic model outputs within a water management framework. Such an approach is needed to maximize the information obtained from model outputs and to facilitate communication between river scientists and water managers. This study presents a general framework to aggregate and summarize 2D hydraulic model outputs by adapting the traditional water resources metrics of reliability, resilience, vulnerability, and sustainability. Just as these metrics are typically used to quantify distinct aspects of water resources performance, applying them to ecohydraulic conditions facilitates interpretation of ecological performance and human-ecosystem water management tradeoffs. This paper examines the utility and limitations of the proposed framework and metrics in a simple application to fall-run Chinook salmon in a typical Mediterranean-montane stream.
Lane, B., Ortiz-Partida, J., Sandoval-Solis, S. 2020 Extending water resources performance metrics to river ecosystems. Ecological Indicators. 114. 1-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106336