Unimpaired or Functional Flows?

What is Functional Flow?

Functional Flow is a holistic, purpose-driven water managementFigure2b_RedwoodCreek-1 technique that focuses on meeting the scientifically observable needs of a waterway during times that best balance the needs on the waterway. Those needs may be broadly environmental, such as providing habitat and food, or salmon spawning flows in stream, geological, such as groundwater recharge, among others. Functional flows recognize the changed natural environment that have occurred during California’s development, including those that come with rivers managed to avoid flooding cities and providing water to grow food.

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What is unimpaired flow?

Unimpaired flow is a water management approach that focuses on the total delta_smelt_by_metric_ruler_usfwsvolume of water that would flow past a particular point of interest if no diversions (impairments) were taking place in the watershed above that point. This approach seeks to mandate set volumes of water existing at certain locations, regardless of other conditions.