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Title: Stream Classification Tool User Manual: For Use in Applications in Hydropower-Related Evironmental Mitigation

Stream classifications are an inventory of different types of streams. Classifications help us explore similarities and differences among different types of streams, make inferences regarding stream ecosystem behavior, and communicate the complexities of ecosystems. We developed a nested, layered, and spatially contiguous stream classification to characterize the biophysical settings of stream reaches within the Eastern United States (~ 900,000 reaches). The classification is composed of five natural characteristics (hydrology, temperature, size, confinement, and substrate) along with several disturbance regime layers, and each was selected because of their relevance to hydropower mitigation. We developed the classification at the stream reach level using the National Hydrography Dataset Plus Version 1 (1:100k scale). The stream classification is useful to environmental mitigation for hydropower dams in multiple ways. First, it creates efficiency in the regulatory process by creating an objective and data-rich means to address meaningful mitigation actions. Secondly, the SCT addresses data gaps as it quickly provides an inventory of hydrology, temperature, morphology, and ecological communities for the immediate project area, but also surrounding streams. This includes identifying potential reference streams as those that are proximate to the hydropower facility and fall within the same class. These streams can potentially be used tomore » identify ideal environmental conditions or identify desired ecological communities. In doing so, the stream provides some context for how streams may function, respond to dam regulation, and an overview of specific mitigation needs. Herein, we describe the methodology in developing each stream classification layer and provide a tutorial to guide applications of the classification (and associated data) in regulatory settings, such as hydropower (re)licensing.« less
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
WC0100000; CEWW099
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
13 HYDRO ENERGY hydropower; water; stream ecology; dams; classification; regulation; FERC; mitigation