Return to the River: Environmental Flow Policy in the United States and Canada1


  • 1

    Paper No. JAWRA-08-0224-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.



Abstract:  This paper provides an overview and summary of United States and Canadian federal, state, and provincial laws that offer some form of legal protection for environmental flows. Special attention is given to the new “second generation” law established in Texas and to ways western states are beginning to encourage transactions that help restore dewatered streams. Progress in the eastern states and some Canadian provinces to provide environmental flow protection is addressed. Based on this review, this paper presents recommended elements of a “model” environmental flow policy.