Product Type: Science Feature
Author(s): Wilson, J., J. Bartholow, and T. Waddle
Wilson, J., J. Bartholow, and T. Waddle. 2003. IFIM and the balancing act for water. http://www.fort.usgs.gov/resources/research_briefs/IFIM.asp.
This publication is distributed by the USGS Fort Collins Science Center .
The water flowing through our streams and rivers has many uses-and many demands on it. But how much water do we need for a particular use? And if we remove that water, what happens to the stream itself and the life within it? In the early 1980's, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) set out to answer those questions and developed the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM). Now in use worldwide, IFIM is a decision-support methodology that provides a comprehensive technical framework for addressing the streamflow needs of fish and other living organisms within a river system. Over the years, field-testing and other refinements have led to many improvements in the original model, such as expansion to include long-term effects, and incorporation of the institutional environment as a major component of IFIM.