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Protecting Rivers and Lakes in the Face of Uncertainty

Third International Workshop on Instream Flows and Water Levels

Portland, Oregon – April 28-30, 2015

Workshop Summary

By all accounts Flow 2015 was a highly successful workshop. The gathering was attended by 235 people from 8 countries. According to the results of a post-workshop survey, 98% of attendees rated the meeting as 8 or higher on a 10-point scale. The four training sessions all received similarly high marks as did all of the presenters. Some of the comments we received included:

  • Thought the work shop was very informative and well put together.
  • Excellent mix of concepts, tools, regional examples, national examples, and the work NGO’s are doing.
  • Clearly a lot of work went into this workshop – the organizers did an amazing job pulling in speakers from all over the country and abroad and I congratulate them on an exceptional workshop!

Various products from the workshop are provided below as they become finalized and available for posting. Check back often to see the latest information from the workshop.

Workshop Materials:

Day 2: Workshop Presentations

Speaker Profiles

Wednesday, April 29
  Eligible for 2.75 CLE credits
7:00 a.m. Registration (all day)
8:00 a.m. Introduction/Welcome (Kevin Mayes, IFC President)
8:10 a.m Keynote address: Shooting the rapids: Navigating uncertainty to adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. Lance Gunderson, Emory College of Arts and Sciences. (Presentation dialogue)
8:55 a.m. Introduction of session on tools, strategies, and issues used by federal regulatory agencies to integrate scientific information with public input when fulfilling their legal responsibilities. What levels of uncertainty are acceptable when fulfilling their statutory and policy directives to balance water development with environmental protection and mitigation? Moderator – Tom Annear, Wyoming Game and Fish Department. (Presentation dialogue)
9:05 a.m. The Susitna Project: An integrated resource approach to evaluating potential flow and water level regulation effects from the proposed Susitna-Watana hydroelectric project, Alaska – challenges for managing uncertainty related to data and analyses adequacy. Dudley Reiser, R2 Resource Consultants. (Presentation dialogue)
9:50 a.m. Break
10:20 a.m. United States Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory program decisions under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act associated with the Cache la Poudre River in Colorado – opportunities and challenges. Chandler Peter, United States Army Corps of Engineers. (Presentation dialogue)
10:50 a.m. Skagit instream flow: Dealing with uncertainty and focusing on the environment. Larry Wasserman, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. (Presentation dialogue)
11:20 a.m. Developing a national policy to direct instream flow protection strategies for permitting new projects in Canada; how it’s working out. Keith Clarke, Department of Fisheries and Oceans. (Presentation dialogue)
11:50 a.m. Lunch (on site): Keynote address – Solutions to accommodate extreme ranges of available flows under changing climate and competition for diminished water supply. Dave Rosgen , Wildland Hydrology. (Presentation dialogue)
1:15 p.m. Facilitated discussion. (Discussion dialogue)
2:30 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Introduction of session on tools, strategies, and issues from state and provincial fish and wildlife agencies (IFC members). Examples from around the U.S. and Canada of how well state and provincial fish and wildlife agencies are equipped to fulfill their public trust responsibilities when it comes to managing streams and lakes. What improvements are needed and what role can the public play to help address those needs? Moderator – Clair Stalnaker United States Geological Survey, emeritus (retired). (Presentation dialogue)
3:15 p.m. Provincial and State Experiences:

6 speakers – 15 minutes each.

4:45 p.m. Facilitated discussion (Discussion dialogue)
5:30 p.m. Happy Hour with North West beverages and Poster Exhibition Review
6:30 p.m. Banquet

Day 3: Workshop Presentations

Speaker Profiles

Thursday, April 30
 Eligible for 1.0 CLE credit
7:00 a.m. Registration
8:00 a.m. Introduction of session on Tools, strategies, and issues faced by non-governmental agencies, non-regulatory federal agencies and the private sector. How much certainty do these interests desire or need when confronting regulators and regulatory processes? Is too much information as problematic as too little information? Moderator – Brian Richter, The Nature Conservancy. (Presentation dialogue)
8:15 a.m. ELOHA and the National Water Census: characterizing uncertainty to support management and sustainability of water resources. Jonathan Kennen, United States Geological Survey. (Presentation dialogue)
8:45 a.m. Strategies to save rivers in the Third Millennium in the face of uncertainty. Angela Arthington, Griffith University, Australia. (Presentation dialogue)
9:15 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. The water risk filter: quantifying water risk for companies, regardless of industry or country. Stuart Orr, World Wildlife Federation International. (Presentation dialogue)
10:45 a.m. Strategies in industry to improve river health around the globe – Alliance for Water Stewardship program. Michael Spencer, Alliance for Water Stewardship Chair. (Presentation dialogue)
11:15 a.m. Facilitated discussion. (Discussion dialogue)
12:00 p.m. Lunch (on site) Keynote address – Deliberative disjunction: Expert and public understanding of outcome uncertainty. Robin Gregory, Decision Research. (Presentation dialogue)
1:00 p.m. Introduction of session on new methods – Linking ecosystem components ( e.g., hydrology, biology, geomorphology, connectivity, water quality). How do new methods compare to historic methods? Are they better or just more complicated? Moderator – Thom Hardy, Texas State University. (Presentation dialogue)
1:15 p.m. Holistic Method: integration of multiple components in flow modeling. Tom Payne, Normandeau Associates. (Presentation dialogue)
1:45 p.m. The San Juan River population model: Linking ecosystem components, management actions and fish numbers to address uncertainty in new ways. Bill Miller, Miller Ecological Consultants. (Presentation dialogue)
2:15 p.m. Break
2:45p.m. Dealing with uncertainty; statistical analysis and risk assessments – tools for establishing robust instream flows. Dorian Turner, British Columbia Hydro. (Presentation dialogue)
3:15 p.m. Bayesian probability modeling. Jim Peterson, Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Oregon State University. (Presentation dialogue)
3:45 p.m. Facilitated discussion. (Discussion dialogue)
4:05 p.m. FLOW 2015 Recap: So What? Where are we headed? Christopher Estes, Chalk Board Enterprises.  (Presentation dialogue)
4:35 p.m. Closure / wrap-up

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