• basic flow;
  • environmental flow;
  • regulated river management


The Basic Flow is a methodology used to calculate environmental flow needs for river regulation. It has gained increased recognition in Spain for hydrological planning. It is based on the study of irregularities in hydrological series of daily mean flows using the simple moving average model as a tool to extract the relevant information. The Basic Flow Methodology (BFM), beyond providing a unique minimum flow value, constitutes a complex management proposal for regulated rivers which includes other management aspects affecting the biological functioning of a river (such as the necessity of flow variability, bankfull flows or varying flow rates) through the establishment of monthly instream flow requirements.

This paper presents a practical application of the BFM in the Silvan stream, a natural mountain stream impacted by a hydroelectric regulation project. Results are discussed in terms of physical habitat created and compared to those obtained from the application of another method based on the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology, using a set of computer programs (RHYHABSIM) for physical habitat simulation. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.