Watershed-Wide Instream Flow Criteria

CDFW’s Instream Flow Program has initiated the implementation of the objectives described in Section 9 of the Water Resilience Portfolio(opens in new tab) by supporting rapid flow assessment methodologies to develop watershed-wide instream flow criteria. These instream flow criteria (PDF) (opens in new tab) are developed using existing hydrologic and modeling tools and are supplemented with site-specific data, when available. Flow criteria are presented for watersheds throughout the state in a series of “Watershed-Wide Instream Flow Criteria” reports (Watershed Criteria Reports).

The Watershed Criteria Reports use approaches and tools developed by the California Water Quality Monitoring Council’s California Environmental Flows Framework (PDF)(opens in new tab) (CEFF). CEFF provides guidance and a set of tools for developing flow criteria statewide using a functional flows approach, where functional flows are key aspects of the natural flow regime that perform important ecological and geomorphic functions. Functional flows provide the basis for the development of instream flow criteria in the Watershed Criteria Reports, and CEFF tools such as the California Natural Flows Database may be used to provide background hydrological data and generate flow results.

Overview Document

The Overview of Watershed-wide Instream Flow Criteria Report Methodology document provides background, section by-section explanations, and guidance on interpretation of results and development of flow criteria relevant to all Watershed Criteria Reports.

Watershed Criteria Reports

Reviewing the Overview document is essential to understanding the results of the analyses and the flow regime criteria contained in these Watershed Criteria Reports.

Reports are best viewed in the Chrome browser, or downloaded using Firefox or Chrome.