Stream flow monitoring to support watershed assessment in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Zambia


This presentation discusses a study to implement a low cost, rapid assessment of stream flow in watersheds in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Zambia. The stream flow monitoring stations include a staff gauge and data-logging pressure sensor. Additional low-tech flow measurements include use of flow meters, salinity method, and floats. Criteria for stream site selection include meeting study objectives, accessibility to researchers and local observers, hydrologic suitability (stable channel, even flow, protected from flooding and sedimentation), and security. Weather data is collected by weather stations, data-logging rain gauges and manual rain gauges. Keys to successful implementation have been the collaborations with host-country partners and engaging the community through existing channels. Outcomes to date are positive; the data collected by local observers has been very satisfactory, and of the 22 stations implemented, 1 sensor was stolen and two stations washed out.



Sedimentation, Surface water, Water, Modeling, Community participation, Resource management tools, Watershed management, Stream flow, Monitoring, Hydrologic modeling, Rapid hydrologic assessment, Watershed


Presented at the SANREM CRSP 2008 Annual Meeting, Los Baños, Philippines, 26-29 May 2008