Water Management Experts Come Together for Training

Staff from four water management districts across the state recently attended a week-long training at District headquarters to learn more about a software program that facilitates environmental flow assessments through instream habitat analysis.

The November training on System for Environmental Flow Assessment (SEFA) was led by Ian Jowett and Tom Payne, two leading experts in hydraulic habitat modeling and co-developers of the software program.

“The program ensures continuity into the future for the critical science of instream flow evaluation and environmental flow protection,” Payne said.

Minimum Flows and Levels are determined by District staff and are based on consideration of 10 environmental values, including fish and wildlife habitats. The SEFA program uses field-collected data to model how habitats depend upon the flow of water in a river. These flow-habitat relationships allow District scientists to develop Minimum Flows and Levels based on the best information available.

Gabe Herrick, Lead Environmental Scientist, said the training was a great opportunity for staff.

 “This event ensures District staff will continue to be leaders in the science of environmental flows assessment,” he said.