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Potomac Flow-by Studies


Introduction 2004-2005 Potomac Low-Flow Update Workshops 2003 Potomac Instream Flow Methods Workshop 2002 Habitat Assessment Report 1981 Habitat Assessment Report Other Links


The purpose of the Potomac Flow-by Study was to investigate and develop a method or methods to evaluate the environmental flow-by requirements of the mainstem Potomac River between Seneca Creek and Chain Bridge.

Summary of Issues that led to the 2001-2004 Potomac Low-Flow Studies

Next Steps for Potomac flow-by Evaluation (as of December 2005):

  • Supplement physical habitat measurements during the next low-flow period (< ~1400 cfs); measurements made below Little Falls Dam in October 2005 (completed; addendum to Habitat report updated on web page)
  • Develop a list of fish and mussel species and low-flow habitat preferences as possible indicator species (draft list attached to meeting minutes of September 2005 workshop)
  • Develop a conceptual model of the ecological relationship between species and their habitat (draft conceptual model by Jules Loos available here)
  • Develop research plans, estimated costs, further refine indicator species for study
  • Ultimate goal: evaluate the adequacy of the current flow-by numbers and set new flow-by as needed, considering duration and frequency of minimum flows.

See the Middle Potomac River Watershed Assessment for more recent efforts "to quantify Potomac watershed environmentally sustainable flows -- flows that sustain healthy river ecosystems and the goods and services that humans derive from them"

See also the ICPRB publication titled Potomac Basin Large River Environmental Flow Needs published May 2011.

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This page was updated on October 10, 2013