The regimen of environmental flows (EF) must be included as terms of environmental demand in the management of water resources. Even though there are numerous methods for the computation of EF, the criteria applied at different steps in the calculation process are quite subjective whereas the results are fixed values that must be meet by water planners. This study presents a friendly-user tool for the assessment of the probability of compliance of a certain EF scenario with the natural regimen in a semiarid area in southern Spain. 250 replications of a 25-yr period of different hydrological variables (rainfall, minimum and maximum flows, ...) were obtained at the study site from the combination of Monte Carlo technique and local hydrological relationships. Several assumptions are made such as the independence of annual rainfall from year to year and the variability of occurrence of the meteorological agents, mainly precipitation as the main source of uncertainty. Inputs to the tool are easily selected from a first menu and comprise measured rainfall data, EF values and the hydrological relationships for at least a 20-yr period. The outputs are the probabilities of compliance of the different components of the EF for the study period. From this, local optimization can be applied to establish EF components with a certain level of compliance in the study period. Different options for graphic output and analysis of results are included in terms of graphs and tables in several formats. This methodology turned out to be a useful tool for the implementation of an uncertainty analysis within the scope of environmental flows in water management and allowed the simulation of the impacts of several water resource development scenarios in the study site.
Aguilar, Cristina; Egüen, Marta; Perales, Jose María; Losada, Miguel A.; and Polo, María José, "Stochastic Assessment Of Environmental Flows In Semiarid Environments" (2014). CUNY Academic Works.