This project aims to develop a tool that will enable more resilient and effective management of riparian and aquatic systems throughout the deserts of the United States and Mexico. This project is being done in partnership with Northern Arizona University (NAU) to create a Desert LCC wide database of environmental flow needs and responses to help water and land managers make decisions about water for riparian and aquatic species and ecosystems. The database will collect information from the Chihuahuan, Mojave, and Sonoran deserts of the U.S. and Mexico.
The goals of this project are:
- To understand the critical data gaps in flow need and flow response data in the Desert LCC (especially related to baseflow dependent streams);
- To develop a user-friendly, one-stop-shop for managers and researchers on existing data on flow needs and responses in the Desert LCC; and
- Make recommendations for next steps to create a guidebook that can be used by managers to evaluate and implement environmental flow methodologies.
The Desert Flows Database is a compilation of over 400 peer-reviewed articles, reports, and book chapters from across the watersheds that touch the Sonoran, Chihuahua, and Mojave Deserts. Funding for this project was provided by the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC). Information about environmental water needs within the database come from many sources – studies done for the express purpose of answering questions about flow needs as well as studies performed for other purposes that have minimal reference to environmental water needs. As of 01/2016, the Desert Flows Database contains data through 07/2015. The database contains tabular data that can be linked to geospatial data on river segments studied.