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Michael J. Hayes

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Water laws and drought plans are used to prioritize and allocate scarce water resources. Both have historically been human-centric, failing to account for non-human water needs. In this paper, we examine the development of instream flow legislation and the evolution of drought planning to highlight the growing concern for the non-human impacts of water scarcity. Utilizing a new framework for ecological drought, we analyzed five watershed-scale drought plans in southwestern Montana, USA to understand if, and how, the ecological impacts of drought are currently being assessed. We found that while these plans do account for some ecological impacts, it is primarily through the narrow lens of impacts to fish as measured...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Resources
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Droughts are natural hazards with varying patterns in space, time, and intensity. Their dynamic character challenges our ability in planning, predicting, monitoring, and providing relief to affected areas. Because of the spatial and temporal variability and multiple impacts of droughts, we need to improve the tools and data available for mapping and monitoring this phenomenon on all scales. A team of researchers from the US Geological Survey’s EROS Data Center, the National Drought Mitigation Center, and the High Plains Regional Climate Center are developing methods for regional-scale mapping and monitoring drought conditions for the conterminous U.S. Currently in its first year, the project is focusing on developing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Water laws and drought plans are used to prioritize and allocate scarce water resources. Both have historically been human-centric, failing to account for non-human water needs. In this paper, we examine the development of instream flow legislation and the evolution of drought planning to highlight the growing concern for the non-human impacts of water scarcity. Utilizing a new framework for ecological drought, we analyzed five watershed-scale drought plans in southwestern Montana, USA to understand if, and how, the ecological impacts of drought are currently being assessed. We found that while these plans do account for some ecological impacts, it is primarily through the narrow lens of impacts to fish as measured...
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