Flow 2018 Logo

Managing Rivers, Reservoirs, and Lakes
in the Face of Drought

Practical Tools and Strategies for Sustaining and Protecting Ecological Values of Water
Fort Collins, Colorado      April 24-26, 2018
Thank you to all speakers and attendees who helped 
make FLOW 2018 a success!
View and download program and presentations


Thank you to all speakers and attendees who helped
make FLOW 2018 a success!

Recorded presentations are now available for download by presentation title on the Program page. 

Hilton Ft. Collins Logo

Workshop Justification

Given the realities of changing weather patterns coupled with increasing water use demands, the prospect of increased variability in hydrologic conditions exists around the globe. Many water and natural resource managers  have developed plans and strategies for adapting to drought conditions. The majority of these efforts have focused on minimizing the negative consequences of drought on basic societal needs.  Less focus has been placed on specific strategies and tools to conjunctively maintain the viability of rivers, reservoirs, and lakes including the connectivity between surface and subsurface water.  A clear need exists for a workshop-style effort to learn from proven strategies and tools to help resource managers effectively balance traditionally recognized water needs with the ecological vitality of river and lake systems. As a recognized leader in assembling problem solvers for challenges to river system management, the Instream Flow Council is committed to advancing the use of effective tools that span the spectrum of science, law, institutional capacity, and public involvement to protect, maintain, and restore aquatic resources.


Participants will learn proven tools and strategies they can put to practice in their own jurisdiction.  Tools and strategies will integrate legal and policy elements with scientific understanding and public involvement strategies to effectively manage flowing and standing water ecosystems when faced with drought.

  1. April 24: Training sessions will provide skills and understanding necessary for effective management of water resources to sustain fish, wildlife, and habitat during extreme hydrologic events and cycles with a focus on drought.
  2. April 25 – 26: Internationally recognized experts will provide examples on the use of and need for effective laws, policies, science, and public participation to meet water management objectives for rivers, reservoirs, and lakes during drought conditions with a key focus on identifying practical, proven solutions.
  3. Facilitated discussions following each session will encourage attendees to share their knowledge and experiences that address the challenge of managing extreme hydrologic variability.
  4. All presentations and discussions will be recorded and transcribed to text. Transcripts and PowerPoint presentations will be posted on the IFC workshop website to provide a permanent resource for attendees and others seeking balance between societal and aquatic resource needs during droughts.

Format and Content

Flow 2018 is a problem-solving workshop that will be held in Fort Collins, CO from April 24 to 26, 2018.  Presentations will go beyond descriptions and projections of anticipated consequences and focus on proven practices for dealing with drought and extreme flow variability.  Four, half-day sessions in plenary format featuring selected speakers will focus sharply on outcome-based elements that have been shown to work for dealing with drought-induced challenges to water management including 1) legal strategies (state, federal, and provincial), 2) institutional capacity (effective agency actions), 3) scientific principles (spanning hydrology, biology, geomorphology, connectivity, and water quality), and 4) incorporating public involvement.  Facilitated discussions after each plenary session will explore additional insights, strategies, and tools offered by attendees.  As with previous IFC conferences, the emphasis on interdisciplinary problem-solving will create networking opportunities that benefit aquatic resources and participants long after the end of the workshop.

Who Should Attend

An international audience of up to 350 participants is expected.  State, provincial, and federal agency staff, tribal entities, non-governmental organizations, legal experts, and private sector water managers and scientists will find value in their participation.  Each attendee will be a critical contributor to the workshop by adding their unique perspective and experiences.

To sign up for future workshop announcements:

Dave Weedman
Arizona Game and Fish
Email: DWeedman@azgfd.gov
Please use “FLOW 2018 Announcements” as the Subject

Workshop Planning Information:

Tom Annear
Wyoming Game and Fish
Planning Committee Chairman
Phone: (307) 777-4555
Email: Tom.Annear@wyo.gov

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Last Updated May 4, 2019