Managing rivers and streams to maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems is a challenge for resource managers across the country. Demand for competing uses of water resources grows with escalating development, increasing recreational use, and the vagaries of climate and weather. For many species of concern, instream flow and associated water quality is critical for survival. Balancing these ecosystem needs with proposed changes in flow regimes requires a process managers can use to classify streams and determine the ecological and hydrological impacts of changes in streamflow.
In response, USGS scientists have developed the Hydroecological Integrity Assessment Process (HIP) and a suite of software tools for conducting a hydrologic classification of streams, addressing instream flow needs, and assessing past and proposed hydrologic alterations on streamflow and/or other ecosystem components. The HIP recognizes that streamflow is strongly related to many critical physiochemical components of rivers, such as dissolved oxygen, channel geomorphology, and water temperature, and can be considered a a??master variablea?? that limits the disturbance, abundance, and diversity of many aquatic plant and animal species...
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"HIP" new software : the Hydroecological Integrity Assessment Process