FLOW 2018 – Summary of Meetings

The FLOW 2018 workshop was held at the Hilton Hotel in Fort Collins, Colorado April 24 to 26, 2018.  It represented the 4th international instream flow and water level uses a workshop hosted by the Instream Flow Council (IFC) and coincided with its 20th anniversary.  Approximately 200 water stakeholders participated.

FLOW 2018 focused on problem-solving and proven practices used from around the globe to mitigate negative impacts of drought to instream flow regimes and water levels required to sustain fish, wildlife, and habitat. Four, half-day sessions in plenary format featured selected speakers who focused sharply on outcome-based elements that have been shown to work for dealing with drought-induced challenges to water management including:

  1. legal strategies
  2. institutional capacity (effective agency and administrative actions)
  3. scientific principles spanning hydrology, biology, geomorphology, connectivity, and water quality
  4. incorporating public involvement

Facilitated discussions were held with presenters and attendees after each plenary session to explore and capture additional insights, strategies, and tools.

As with previous IFC conferences, the workshop format and emphasis on interdisciplinary problem-solving created networking opportunities designed to further benefit the effectiveness of participants to mitigate drought and other types of hydro-illogic cycles long after the end of the workshop.

Similar to FLOW 2015 https://www.instreamflowcouncil.org/conferences-flow-2015-workshop-materials/ FLOW 2018 workshop  products are slated to be available for download from the IFC web site https://www.instreamflowcouncil.org/ no later than September 2018.

The IFC seeks to help state, provincial, and territorial fish and wildlife agencies better fulfill their public trust responsibility to protect aquatic resources, so that they can be used and enjoyed by current and future generations.

Thanks to Tony Willardson, Mindi Dalton, Sue Lowry, Roger Gorke, and others in attendance at the WSWC meeting, including members and staff not present, that contributed to the success of FLOW 2018.