International - Translation of Environmental Flow Research in Cambodia (TEFRIC)

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

Environmental flows describe the flow regime of a river required to maintain economically, socially and ecologically important ecosystem services. A range of methods for assessing environmental flow requirements has been established. The Range of Variability Approach (RVA) uses Indicators of Hydrological Alteration (IHA), a statistical technique to compare natural and altered flow regimes. The project team have enhanced RVA / IHA approaches to provide a method (Ecological Risk due to Flow Alteration - ERFA) that assigns risk of change based on the number of IHAs covering the entire flow regime (including low and high flows which exert different influences upon riverine ecosystems) exceeding specified thresholds. This work was trialled on the Mekong River Basin and is being further developed for catchments in India and Bangladesh with NERC funding.

Cambodia's rivers are under increasing pressure due to water resource schemes, rapid development and extensive land use change. Regional impacts of climate change have also been shown to be uncertain. Since many Cambodians rely heavily on ecosystem services provided by rivers and associated aquatic ecosystem there is a pressing need to introduce best practice for environmental flow assessments and to establish case studies to demonstrate their application within Cambodia. This will permit the inclusion of environmental flows in developing water resource management plans and policies as well as in the formulation of climate change adaptation strategies.

We will enhance the existing ERFA code to translate it from the expert system to a tool that can be much more easily used by non-experts. This will include options for varying the IHAs and associated thresholds used in the analysis as well as enhancing outputs to aid the interpretation of results. Outputs will include a headline summary of risk of change using a "traffic light" system as well as more detail on changes in each component IHAs. ERFA will be applied to a wide range of scenarios (>50) already available from coupled hydrological / hydraulic modelling of the Mekong Basin. An Expert Group drawn from relevant water / environmental management agencies, university academics and other individuals within Cambodia will use results to tune the options within the environmental flow methodology so that ERFA derived risks of change match expert opinion. This Cambodian tuning will be hard-coded into the ERFA code (developed in R) that will be freely distributed via the CEH Environmental Information Date Centre.

Sub-catchments of the Tonle Sap that are wholly or largely constrained within Cambodia's borders and for which hydrological models are already available will be selected to represent the diversity of environmental and resource use characteristics within the nation's river systems. These sub-catchments will provide demonstration cases for the Cambodian tuned ERFA. With the Expert Group we will define a series of Cambodian-wide and sub-catchment specific scenarios for simulation. The latter will reflect the characteristics of each sub-catchment and current / planned water resource uses. They could include increases in the extent of natural vegetation removal and changes to current water abstractions. Cambodian-wide scenarios will focus on climate change-related modifications to meteorological inputs. Baseline (original) and scenario river discharges from these scenarios for each model will be applied to the Cambodian-tuned ERFA.

A major dissemination meeting will launch the Cambodian-tuned ERFA. Participants will include scientists, environmental practitioners and decision / policy makers in Cambodia. In order to increase the potential for wider application of ERFA within the Mekong Basin, National Mekong Committees of other riparian states will also be invited. Stakeholder engagement will include hand-on demonstrations of ERFA using results from the demonstration sub-catchments and Mekong-wide models.

Planned Impact

The project is designed to address the pressing need to initiate environmental flow research in Cambodia, an area of research that is very much in its infancy. It aims to provide environmental flow methodologies that are appropriate for application in Cambodia (and the wider Mekong and beyond) as well as better-informed environmental scientists, managers and decision makers who can employ these methodologies directly or use their results. Regarding stakeholder engagement, code development of the ERFA environmental flow methodology will enhance its usability and provide outputs that will include easy-to-interpret summary figures for the non-specialists, while retaining their scientific robustness for the specialists. ERFA outputs have been successfully used in high-profile meetings in Hungary and Norway, as well as in India, obtaining excellent feedback from a wide range of participants.

Key stakeholders who will benefit from the project include:

1. Decision / policy makers: Key Cambodian Government ministries include: (i) Water Resources and Meteorology, (ii) Environment, and (iii) Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Inclusion of representatives from these ministries in the final Dissemination Meeting where project results will be presented and the Cambodian-tuned ERFA launched will raise awareness and promote recognition amongst these organisations of the importance of water for the environment and ecosystem services and the need to consider environmental flows in water and associated resource management policies. Through the participation of other riparian states' National Mekong Committees of the Mekong River Commission, the inter-governmental organisation whose focus is the management of the shared resources and sustainable development of the wider Mekong Basin, environmental flow concepts in general and ERFA in particular can be communicated to the larger regional water policy community.

2. Technical advisors in ministries and regulatory agencies: Decision/policy makers rely on sound technical advice from these advisors. The project is designed to develop understanding of environmental flow concepts and methodologies. This includes development of ERFA for use in the Cambodian context.

3. Cambodian research scientists and research institutions: As detailed in "Academic beneficiaries", the project will benefit Cambodian environmental researchers by providing hands-on experience in the application of environmental flow methods as well as ultimately enhancing and tuning the ERFA methodology for application in Cambodia by these scientists. Identification of case study catchments and scenarios for ERFA is designed to facilitate the expansion of environmental flow research and, through the development of teaching materials, education within Cambodian universities.

4. Water resource managers including Cambodian Government organisations responsible for operational water management (e.g. Cambodian National Mekong Committee, Tonle Sap Authority): The enhanced and Cambodian-tuned ERFA methodology is designed to provide a tool that can improve water management through the inclusion of environmental flows. This will enhance the sustainable management of the nation's water resources and aquatic environments including in the preparation of climate change adaptation strategies.

5. Non-governmental organisation: These organisations range from national offices of international NGOs (e.g. WWF, IUCN - who have been active in promoting dialogue between stakeholders involved in water-related issues) to small wildlife organisations that implement local projects and engage with government for effective policy making. The project will benefit these organisations through enhanced understanding within Cambodia of environmental flow concepts and methods.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The project has, as originally designed, developed a user-friendly version of the Ecological Risk due to Flow Alteration (ERFA) method (TEFRIC-ERFA). This enables environmental practitioners and scientists to undertake assessments of the potential risks of ecological changes resulting from alterations to river flow. These alternations may be due to climate change or anthropogenic modifications (e.g. water resource schemes including dams and other impoundments, abstractions or discharges). The software requires a minimum of a baseline and scenario discharge time series for one location although it is designed so that time series for multiple locations and scenarios can be quickly analysed. Results are presented using a readily understood traffic-light colour coded system summarising the risks of change in both high and low flows as well as more detailed results showing which of a series of metrics describing the river regime characteristics have undergone a significant change. As necessary key parameters used in TEFRIC-ERFA can be easily modified. Results can be exported in both numerical and graphical formats. Development of the software was guided by inputs from ecological experts in Cambodia who suggested additional flow regime metrics and additions to the user interface. It has been tested using a series of datasets for the Mekong and other large river systems. Example datasets for the Mekong are provided with the software as is a detailed user manual describing the software and its use. Although TEFRIC-ERFA has been developed as part of a project focussing on Cambodia, the approach upon which it is based and so the software itself is equally applicable in other regions / countries. TEFRIC-ERFA can be downloaded from the NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.
Exploitation Route The TEFRIC-ERFA software is freely available via the NERC Environmental Information Data Centre enabling its wide use. It has already been distributed to a number of organisations in Cambodia and the lower Mekong region as part of project dissemination activities. These organisations include:

Ministry of Environment, Cambodia
Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, Cambodia
Tonle Sap Authority, Cambodia
Cambodia National Mekong Committee, Cambodia
Forestry Administration, Cambodia
Mekong River Commission, Laos
Natural Resources and Environment Institute, Laos
Vietnam Institute of Hydrometeorology and Climate Change, Vietnam
Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Cambodia
Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia
University of Battambang, Camdodia
King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thailand
Chularlorngkon University, Thailand
Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT), UK and Cambodia
Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), Cambodia
Oxfam, Cambodia
Asian Development Bank (ADB), Cambodia
Wetlands Work, Cambodia
Mekong Modelling Associates, Cambodia
Agriculture and Rural Development Consultants (ARDC), Cambodia

The software will enable these organisations, and similar organisations elsewhere, to review the potential ecological implications of changes in river flow. Particular concern are the impacts of climate change and, especially for the Mekong, dam construction. TEFRIC-ERFA could be employed to assess potential alternative scenarios including those designed to mitigate negative impacts. In this way, it has the potential to provide a valuable tool for those designing water management plans and infrastructure. Furthermore, the software has the potential to be employed within teaching programme in universities (a number of which in Cambodia and the lower Mekong participated in the project) to demonstrate the application of environmental flow approaches to impact assessment. It has, for example, already been integrated within MSc programmes at UCL whilst the Institute of Technology of Cambodia plans to use it within a newly developed stream of MSc teaching.
Sectors Education,Environment

URL https://catalogue.ceh.ac.uk/documents/98ec8073-7ebd-44e5-aca4-ebcdefa9d044
 
Description Training in the TEFRIC-ERFA software has been provided in three academic years to UCL students registered on the Climate Change, Aquatic Science, Conservation and Environmental Modelling programmes (see under Engagement Activities). This included the development of teaching materials on environmental flow approaches and the use of hydrological models to develop baseline-scenario time series. These MScs are both strongly international (most notably with students from across Europe and increasingly China) and vocational (in particular Aquatic Science and Conservation). The introduction of environmental flow science and demonstration of the practical tools we have developed to undertake environmental flow assessments has the potential to see their adoption by graduates who go on to both academic and environmental practitioner careers although at present it is early days in terms of demonstrating these impacts.
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Training in the TEFRIC-ERFA software to Cambodian Academics. Prior to the July 2018 workshop held in the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), UCL and CEH provided hands-on training to Cambodian academic staff (ITC, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Battambang University, Royal University of Agriculture) in the use of the TEFRIC-ERFA software. This was designed to enable them to use the software within their own teaching programmes with a specific focus on MSc students. UCL and CEH also provided teaching materials (lecture notes, example data sets) for this purpose. Our aim is to revisit these materials with Cambodian colleagues during the 2019 final project meeting in Cambodia to maximise their effectiveness. In the long-term it is anticipated that incorporation of environmental flow methods in to graduate curriculums will have educational and environmental impacts although at present it is early days in terms of demonstrating these impacts.
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Title Time series of baseline-scenario river flows for the Mekong Basin for use in TEFRIC-ERFA 
Description As part of the project we have collated simulated time series of river discharges for the Mekong River Basin from earlier research. These time series are available for 12 gauging stations between on the Mekong and its major tributaries between Chiang Saen and Phnom Penh. 30-year long simulations for baseline and scenarios periods are available for each station with scenarios comprising (1) a 2 degree increase in global mean temperature as simulated by 7 GCMs; (2) RPC4.5 as simulated by 41 GCM. Whilst these datasets are not currently available to others, our intention is to provide them with the final version of the TEFRIC-ERFA software as demonstration cases. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The scenarios for which data are available describe a wide range of future conditions that include both increases and decreases in river flow. Within the project this has enabled the application of the TEFRIC-ERFA environmental flow software to a range of future conditions. This had a particular beneficial impact during the summer 2018 environmental flow workshop held in Phnom Penh since local experts were able to compare the TEFRIC-ERFA derived risks of change with their expert judgement for a wide range of future conditions. 
 
Description Collaboration with University of Nottingham on global environmental flow assessments 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Discussions with Prof Simon Gosling (a previous collaborator of Prof Julian Thompson in the field of inter-hydrological model comparisons and climate change) at the end of an un-related meeting identified the potential for employing the TEFRIC-ERFA environmental flow approach to global assessments of the impacts of climate change. As a result, Prof Thompson with inputs from Dr Laize, has adapted the ERFA code to process the large volumes of pairs of baseline-scenario river flows available through Dr Gosling's on-going research (see contributions from partners). We developed new approaches to summarise the results for such a large number of scenarios for individual river basins and a large number of basins. This includes approaches suitable for summarising uncertainty in future environmental flows. Prof Thompson has drafted a paper that is currently being edited by collaborators. Given the global scale of the study and the novelty of the approach employed the intention is to submit this to a high-impact journal such as Environmental Research Letters.
Collaborator Contribution Prof Gosling and his colleague Dr Jamal Zaherpour have extracted an extensive data set of simulated river flows from the results of the Phase 2a of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP2a). These comprise simulated discharges for 321 global from nine global hydrological models (GHM). Scenarios results for each GHM were acquired from simulations of four levels of global-mean warming (1, 1.5, 2 and 3 degrees) as simulated by five global hydrological models. In this way, 45 (9 GHMs × 5 GCMs) pairs of baseline-scenario discharge time series were generated for each basin for each of four global-mean warming scenarios (180 pairs for the four warming scenarios). Across the 321 basins this equates to a total of 57780 pairs of baseline-scenario discharges. Baseline-scenario time series were provided to UCL in a form suitable for application within the modified TEFRIC-ERFA code.
Impact This collaboration is ongoing with outcomes in the pipeline - specifically this will include a high-impact journal paper reporting the first global assessment of climate change impacts on environmental flows.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Discussions on collaborative application of environmental hydrology approaches in Boeung Prek Lapouv, Cambodia with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust 
Organisation Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have developed a collaboration with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in applying environmental hydrology methods to protected areas in Cambodia with a focus on Boeung Prek Lapouv. This collaboration comes directly through the contacts established through ITC as part of the TEFRIC project. UCL have demonstrated the TEFRIC-ERFA software and have provided expert opinion on how it could, with other research methods be applied to Boeung Prek Lapouv in order to inform management that would address current problems experienced at the site that are directly related to hydrological conditions. It is intended that this collaboration could take the form of, at least initially, a co-supervised PhD.
Collaborator Contribution WWT have shared existing reports on the site and are in the process of collating data for transfer to UCL. Should the collaboration develop into a co-supervised PhD, WWT will make some funds available to support targeted field investigations in Cambodia.
Impact Our aim is to develop collaborative research that would focus on the development of scientifically grounded improvements in wetland protected areas management. This could include collaboratively supervised PhD research and the application of hydro-ecological approaches, including TEFRIC ERFA, to data for these wetland protected area.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Support to PhD researcher from the University of Dundee 
Organisation University of Dundee
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution UKCEH provided Bhawana Gupta, PhD student at the University of Dundee with advice and/or training on: (1) the student's PhD research methodology and plans; (2) environmental flow assessment methods; (3) setting and using the TEFRIC ERFA software. The student' PhD project title is 'Tackling the challenges of water, food and energy nexus in India' and focused on the Cauvery basin, India.
Collaborator Contribution For this project she has collaborated with UKCEH to obtain modelled flows for the Cauvery basin under different scenarios. She is analysing this stream flow data using the TEFRIC ERFA software in order to assess the impact of flow alteration on the Cauvery river ecosystem.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2019
 
Title Final version of the TEFRIC-ERFA software (December 2019) 
Description The final version of the TEFRIC-ERFA software was released via the NERC Environmental Information Data Centre in December 2019: Laize, C.L.R., Thompson, J.R. (2019). R implementation of the Ecological Risk due to Flow Alteration (ERFA) method. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. The release incorporates all revisions made following the various engagement activities undertaken during the project. It includes the two example datasets drawn from earlier UCL-based modelling of the Mekong comprising baseline and scenario time series at 12 locations for a (i) 2 degree increase in global mean temperature as simulated by 7 GCMs; (ii) 1-6 degree increases in global mean temperature as simulated by one GCM (HadCM3). The software includes a comprehensive manual that provides a background to the TEFRIC project and the software and describes the installation requirements as well as the required folder structure and input file formats. Use of the software is also described and includes launching, the calculations that are undertaken and the intermediate calculations files that are generated as well as a detailed account of the user interface and output file formats. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact This software has enabled non-experts to undertake assessments of the risks of ecological change using the ERFA technique and using their own datasets. It has been distributed to Government ministries, inter-governmental organisations (most notably the Mekong River Commission), universities and research institutes, local and international conservation and development organisations in SE Asia. 
 
Title TEFRIC-ERFA Release 1 
Description The first formal release 1 of the TEFRIC-ERFA environmental flow software was made in July 2018 at the time of the project workshop held in Phnom Penh Cambodia. The software comprises a series of R scripts and uses the shiny package to produce a user-interface. This enabled the selection of a series of options for undertaking an environmental flow assessment including selection of site (one per assessment) and scenario (multiple selections possible), definition of the water year, the selection of the flow percentiles used to define high and low flows, and the thresholds associated with significant change in eight environmental flow indicators. Outputs include plotting of baseline-scenario time series, river regimes and flow duration curve as well as summary plots providing for each scenario an overall risk of change in high and low flow and an indication of which environmental flow indicators exceed the define thresholds. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Release of this software underpinned the project workshop held in Phnom Penh Cambodia. It provided the opportunity for participants to gain hands-on experience in the use of an environmental flow method. The software facilitated rapid comparison of the TEFRIC-ERFA derived risks of change with expert judgement leading to the identification of two new metrics (associated with high flow) for future incorporation within the software. 
 
Title TEFRIC-ERFA Release 2 
Description This release of the TEFRIC-ERFA environmental flow software was made for demonstration to UCL MSc students in February 2019. It incorporates feedback from the project workshop held in Phnom Penh Cambodia (summer 2018) as well as additional modifications and improvements identified by the project team. These include (i) the addition of two new environmental flow indicators (total now ten, five each for high and low flow), (ii) recoding of the overall risk of change to reflect the new indicators, (iii) reporting of the values of changes in each environmental flow indicator (in addition to the original indication of whether they exceed the define thresholds, (iv) the ability to output key results as image files, (v) enhancements to the user interface including indication within output plots of the percentiles and corresponding discharges used to define high and low flows. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Release of this version of the software enabled its demonstration and rigorous testing to 30+ potential end-users with distribution via UCL online course management system. This included testing using baseline-scenario time series for other regions: the Okavango (Southern Africa), Liard (Canada), Mitano (Eastern Africa), Rio Grande (Brazil) and Xiangi (China). Suggestions for further minor modifications for incorporation within the final version of the software were also obtained as a result of this process. 
 
Description Demonstration and training in the current version of the TEFRIC ERFA environmental flow software was provided to UCL MSc students as part of the UCL Geography Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological Systems module - 22 March 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The then current working version of the TEFRIC ERFA environmental flow software was demonstrated to UCL MSc students (registered on the Climate Change, Aquatic Science, Conservation and Environmental Modelling programmes). We provided a background to the science of environmental flows, climate change impact assessment research in the Mekong and the TEFRIC project. Hands-on demonstration of the software included the application of UCL-derived baseline-scenario time series for multiple locations within the Mekong River Basin. Software demonstration also enabled feedback from the students on the operation of the software with user experiences and suggestions recorded for subsequent software development and for future Cambodian-based workshop activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Demonstration and training in the final TEFRIC ERFA environmental flow software was provided to UCL MSc students as part of the UCL Geography Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological Systems module - 27 February 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The final version of the TEFRIC ERFA environmental flow software was demonstrated to UCL MSc students (registered on the Climate Change, Aquatic Science, Conservation and Environmental Modelling programmes). Over half of the students are international. We provided a background to the science of environmental flows, climate change impact assessment research in the Mekong and the TEFRIC project. Hands-on demonstration of the software initially focussed on the use of UCL-derived baseline-scenario time series for multiple locations within the Mekong River Basin. It was subsequently extended to include assessments for other river basins in other regions: the Okavango (Southern Africa), Liard (Canada), Mitano (Eastern Africa), Rio Grande (Brazil) and Xiangi (China). This facilitated training in the processing of time series for application within the software as well as its testing using multiple datasets. Students will use the software within the formal assessment for this module.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Demonstration and training in the updated TEFRIC ERFA environmental flow software was provided to UCL MSc students as part of the UCL Geography Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological Systems module - 21 February 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The current version of the TEFRIC ERFA environmental flow software was demonstrated to UCL MSc students (registered on the Climate Change, Aquatic Science, Conservation and Environmental Modelling programmes). This version of the software incorporated feedback from the same activity undertaken in 2018 as well as the Cambodian workshop (summer 2018). We provided a background to the science of environmental flows, climate change impact assessment research in the Mekong and the TEFRIC project. Hands-on demonstration of the software initially focussed on the use of UCL-derived baseline-scenario time series for multiple locations within the Mekong River Basin. It was subsequently extended to include assessments for other river basins in other regions: the Okavango (Southern Africa), Liard (Canada), Mitano (Eastern Africa), Rio Grande (Brazil) and Xiangi (China). This facilitated training in the processing of time series for application within the software as well as its testing using multiple datasets. Students will use the software within the formal assessment for this module. They also provided feedback on the user-interface that will be incorporated within the final software.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Environmental Flows Meeting and Software Release: Phnom Penh, Cambodia - 27-28 June 2019. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This 1.5 day long meeting was the culmination of the TEFRIC project. The meeting was held at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, the primary Cambodian partner in the project. The meeting comprised a series of presentations focussing on environmental flows, the TEFRIC project and the TEFRIC ERFA environmental flow software developed as part of the project. The second half-day of the meeting provided a hands-on technical workshop on the use of this software.

Over 40 participants took part in the meeting. Whilst most were from Cambodia, there was also at least one representative from each of the riparian nations of the Lower Mekong River Basin (i.e. Laos, Thailand, Vietnam in addition to Cambodia). Organisations included Government ministries, inter-governmental organisations (most notably the Mekong River Commission), universities (with participants including both staff and students) and research institutes, local and international conservation and development organisations as well as private environmental consultancy companies. The following organisations attended:

Ministry of Environment, Cambodia
Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, Cambodia
Tonle Sap Authority, Cambodia
Cambodia National Mekong Committee, Cambodia
Forestry Administration, Cambodia
Mekong River Commission, Laos
Natural Resources and Environment Institute, Laos
Vietnam Institute of Hydrometeorology and Climate Change, Vietnam
Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Cambodia
Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia
University of Battambang, Camdodia
King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thailand
Chularlorngkon University, Thailand
Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT), UK and Cambodia
Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), Cambodia
Oxfam, Cambodia
Asian Development Bank (ADB), Cambodia
Wetlands Work, Cambodia
Mekong Modelling Associates, Cambodia
Agriculture and Rural Development Consultants (ARDC), Cambodia

The first day of the meeting (27th June 2019) comprised a series of presentations for which all participants were provided with a complete set of printed notes. After a welcome by Dr Sith (ITC), Prof. Thompson (UCL) provided an overview of the TEFRIC project including its aims and the approaches adopted during the project. This was followed by Dr Laizé's (CEH) overview of the science of environmental flows and how concepts and associated approaches can be used to improve the management of aquatic ecosystems. This included the inputs provided by Prof. Acreman (CEH). Prof. Thompson extended this review of environmental flow concepts beyond river systems to wetlands drawing on specific examples from both the UK and SE Asia, most notably earlier research undertaken within Vietnam's Cat Tien National Park.

The afternoon session began with a detailed account by Dr Laizé of the Ecological Risk due to Flow Alteration (ERFA) approach and its previous application by CEH and UCL in Europe, the Mekong River Basin and West Africa. The led on to an account of the development of TEFRIC ERFA including engagement of Cambodian experts in refining an earlier version of the software via a workshop held at ITC in July 2018. An on-screen demonstration of TEFRIC ERFA was provided. The day concluded with an account by ITC student Kith Sopanha of the application of TEFRIC ERFA to assess the impacts of climate change on discharges within the Stung Sen river system, the largest tributary of the Tonle Sap. Baseline and scenario discharges used in this assessment were provided by forcing a calibrated / validated SWAT model of the river basin with the climate change scenario demonstrated by UCL prior to the meeting. All of the presentations were well received, stimulating lively discussions.

During the morning of the second day of the meeting (28th June 2019) a hands-on demonstration of the TEFRIC ERFA software was provided. Meeting participants used their own laptop computers having been asked to install R and shiny prior to their attendance. All meeting participants were provided with a copy of the TEFRIC ERFA software on a USB memory stick. The hands-on demonstration proceeded logically through installation requirements and data preparation. This was demonstrated using the example datasets that are included with the software. A step-by-step review of each of the options within the TEFRIC ERFA user interface and their impacts on the environmental flow assessment was provided. This included the ability to save user defined setting. Finally the output options comprising both graphical (.png) files of each of the graphs within the TEFRIC ERFA user interface (river regime and flow duration curves) and the environmental flow assessment and tabular (.csv file) summaries of the environmental flow results were demonstrated.

The meeting concluded with a summary of the next steps - in particular how the TEFRIC ERFA software will be made available via the Internet after, as deemed necessary following experience during the meeting, any minor modifications have been completed. The Email addresses of all meeting participants have been retained and will be used to inform them of when this final release takes place. Since the meeting we have been contacted by a number of participants who have been using the software and have had specific questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Environmental flows workshop: Phnom Penh, Cambodia - July 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact With the Institute of Technology Cambodia (ITC) we organised a workshop on environmental flows held at ITC Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Participants were drawn from academic institutions, Government ministries and international conservation organisations:

Cambodian Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology
Cambodian Ministry of Environment
Tonle Sap Authority
Institute of Technology of Cambodia
Royal University of Phnom Penh
Battambang University Royal University of Agriculture
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Conservation International
Worldfish

The workshop focussed on introducing the concept of environmental flows with specific examples of the approaches that can be used to assess the flow requirements for aquatic ecosystems and risk of change. We subsequently described the TEFRIC project and the environmental flow software (TEFRIC-ERFA) that has been developed. Copies of the software were distributed to all workshop participants and hands-on training provided. Subsequently workshop participants collaboratively reviewed the TEFRIC-ERFA based assessments of risk of change in ecological conditions against their expert opinion of local situations. This led to the identification of new metrics that could be incorporated within the software (subsequently undertaken). Follow-up included a request from Conservation International to participate in a Freshwater Health Index assessment for the Lower Mekong Basin.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Paper presented and software demonstrated at British Hydrological Society National Hydrology Symposium (September 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We presented a poster paper (now available online - see link below) and demonstrated the then current version of the TEFRIC-ERFA software at the British Hydrological Society (BHS) National Hydrology Symposium:

Thompson, J.R., Laizé, C.L.R., Acreman, M.C., Li, S., Sith, R., Bunpov, V. Robinson, A.J. (2018) Development and application of the Ecological Risk due to Flow Alteration (ERFA) methodology in Cambodia - Progress on the TEFRIC Project. Hydrology: Advances in Theory and Practice, British Hydrological Society National Hydrology Symposium, 12-13 September 2018.

BHS is the UK's society for both academic and professional hydrologists. The conference provided an opportunity to demonstrate the current version of the environmental flow software to the UK community as well as a number of overseas participants with particular interest and a request for follow-up information coming from China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/people/academic-staff/julian-thompson/TEFRICPosterPaperBHSSymposium2018.p...