Published Oct 26, 2010

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Lina M. Castro-Heredia

Yesid Carvajal-Escobar

Elkin A. Monsalve-Durango



The economic development of the nations has evolved around the use of water resources. This situation has caused alterations in the natural course of rivers and changes in the fluvial ecosystems as a result of the huge pressure put on them. Another consequence is the serious limitations in the capacity of the ecosystems to provide goods. The growing awareness about the damages causes to the freshwater systems has led to the development of the methodologies for determining the water level that should remain in the river for keeping the harmony of the environment. The aim of this paper is to review the methodologies that are frequently more used for measuring the environmental flow and the environmental flow regime. The methodologies are revised from different perspectives: hydrological, hydraulic, hydraulic of habitat simulation or holistic. Within every presented perspective, the former approaches involve from simply hydrological procedures to complex technological tools, with hydrological, hydraulic and biological information, and also takes into account the economic and social components. The purpose is to obtain a regime flow with a holistic and integral vision. A brief explanation of each one of the methods and its more outstanding characteristics are made and some conclusions and recommendations are given.


water resources, environmental flow, environmental flow regimerecursos hídricos, caudal ambiental, régimen de caudal ambiental

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How to Cite
Castro-Heredia, L. M., Carvajal-Escobar, Y., & Monsalve-Durango, E. A. (2010). Enfoques teóricos para definir el caudal ambiental. Ingenieria Y Universidad, 10(2). Retrieved from