The topic of this year’s annual Indiana Water Monitoring Council Symposium was “Modified Flows and Their Impact on Stream and Lake Ecosystems.” It was hosted on November 28th at the Indiana Government Center and featured over 100 students and professionals from universities, government agencies, and the private sector in attendance. Organizations represented included IDEM, IDNR, USGS, TNC, Purdue, Ball State University, and several others.
The event’s speakers focused on the central theme of understanding, managing, and predicting the effects of modified flows, and included examples reaching outside Indiana.
For example, Howard Reeves’ of the USGS Michigan Water Science Center presented on Michigan’s current system to address water withdrawal users to preserve aquifers over time. Also, Dan Carlisle of USGS detailed what has been learned from the National Assessment of Streamflow Alteration on how modified flows affect biological communities around the country.
However, examples of modified flows in Indiana focused on important topics such as tools for data analysis presented by Mark Pyron of Ball State, and on how flows in Indiana will be altered by climate change impacts. A topic addressed in great detail by Melissa Widhalm of Purdue’s Climate Change Research Center.
Presentations from all of the speakers can be found below:
- Howard Reeves – U.S. Geological Survey Michigan Water Science Center
What are ecological flows, why are they important? (Pertinent laws or lack of laws?)
- Jack Wittman – Intera, Inc.
Competing needs for water? Ag, urban, ecology (Indiana Water Shortage Report)
- Melissa Widhalm – Purdue Climate Change Research Center
Ecoflows and climate change: What can we expect from climate change models?
- Mark Pyron – Ball State Department of Biology
Ecoflows tool: Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration in the context of Indiana streams
- Ed Rankin – Midwest Biodiversity Institute
Development of ecological flow indicators for Ohio streams and rivers
- Steven Foster – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Modified flows in the Ohio River watershed: issues and successes
- Bob Barr – Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Ecoflows: More than just how much
- John Stark – The Nature Conservancy
More sustainable rivers
- Daren Carlisle – U.S. Geological Survey
Biological community responses to flow alteration: Regional and national patterns
In addition to presenting information and ideas, this year’s symposium featured several opportunities for both networking and discussion. Specifically, members of the InWMC discussed some avenues for increased outreach and education about effects of modified flows to improve engagement in a wider range of audiences.
You can find more pictures from the event on our Facebook Page.