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Assessing the Establishment and Implementation of Environmental Flows in Spain



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Mezger Lorenzo, Gabriel and De Stefano, Lucia and González del Tánago, Marta (2019) Assessing the Establishment and Implementation of Environmental Flows in Spain. Environmental Management . ISSN 0364-152X, ESSN: 1432-1009


Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00267-019-01222-2



The alteration of natural flows due to water withdrawals and the presence of hydraulic infrastructure poses significant threats to the integrity of riverine ecosystems. The establishment of environmental flows (EF) has been conceived as a water management tool to mitigate the impact of in-stream flows alteration. To date, a large body of literature has focused on methods to define EF, but less attention has been paid to documenting and assessing their actual implementation on the ground. This article provides a framework to describe and assess the process of design, application, and monitoring of EF at a river basin level. The framework is applied to Spain, where significant efforts have been made during the past decade to define and implement EF across the country. The goal of the paper is to identify strengths and opportunities for improving the implementation of EF at country level. The Spanish legislation establishes that EF should contribute to the achievement of the good ecological status of surface water bodies as required by the European Union Water Framework Directive. Several pitfalls in the design, application, and monitoring of this important river management measure constrain the ability of the existing EF to deliver that fundamental outcome.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Environmental flows, Assessment, Water Framework Directive, Adaptive management
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Hidrology
ID Code:57806
Deposited On:18 Nov 2019 18:06
Last Modified:09 Oct 2020 23:01

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