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Elia Tapia

Article Abstract: Although riparian and aquatic ecosystems make up a small fraction of the area in arid and semi-arid lands, they are critical for the survival of desert life. There are, however, few compendia of efforts to define the quantity of water needed to maintain these ecosystems and understand the risks and stressors to them. Through our analysis we found that 62% of the rivers examined in the deserts of the U.S. and Mexico have had just one study over the past four decades and 67% of studies used qualitative methods. Furthermore, only one-third of the 312 species catalogued in our work have been studied more than once and only 5% have been considered five or more times. The most common risks or stressors...
Successful implementation of environmental flow projects depends on land and water managers having clear objectives and access to reliable data. This guidebook provides information on a variety of methods that can be utilized under different fiscal or temporal constraints to determine and implement appropriate environmental flow targets. Based on evidence from cases focused in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, steps are suggested to help ensure maintenance of flows under uncertain future natural and socioeconomic conditions. The importance of education and engagement to increase acceptance of environmental flows based projects and gain key player and community buy in is described. Limitations on...
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