EPA National Low Flows

Science Center Objects

Low streamflow has great ecological importance as it defines the minimum extent (and carrying capacity) of in-stream habitat and affects biota composition and distribution, and species trophic structure.

Maintaining minimum streamflows during seasonal low flow conditions mediates water quality including temperature and dissolved oxygen and provides volume for effluent dilution. We are exploring the effects of agriculture, dams, and urbanization on changes in low streamflows and several related characteristics over the past 100, 75, and 50 years (1916–2015, 1941–2015, and 1966–2015).