S. MEIJER Karen
Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Department of Water Management. PO Box 5048, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands. email@example.com
Healthy ecosystems are vital to rural livelihoods is the conclusion of research in developing countries (IUCN, 2003). These findings may be used as an argument to claim water for nature in river basin water allocations. But how much water is required, and when? To answer these questions Environmental Flow Assessment methods, which are being developed since the 1950’s to assess what part of the flow should remain in the river, may be used. However, current methods often focus on nature conservation in general or, at the opposite, consider only a few animal or plant species. The importance of functions of the river ecosystem to people is hardly ever explicitly addressed. And if, then often based on expert judgement, instead of providing unambiguous quantified relationships.
The research described in this paper provides an analytical framework for assessing the relationship between peoples’ well-being and the river flow regime, in order to be able to determine quantitative flow requirements from a peoples’ perspective.