Implications of Upstream Water:
Uses on Downstream Ecosystems and Livelihoods
Water resource developments and changes in landuse can impact on the livelihoods of those people reliant on ecosystems goods and services.
Environmental flows can used be to assess the consequences for a downstream riparian community of flow-related changes in river resources; to predict the implications of flow falling below critical levels and to consider tradeoffs between on- and off- stream uses of water.
As such, environmental flow assessments bring into relief the implications of developments on ecosystems and communities hitherto excluded from decision-making. This paper describes the role of Environmental Flow Assessments as a tool in ecosystem management and examines various nuances of environmental flow considerations in planning.