Dr Eloise Kendy

Dr Eloise Kendy


As Senior Freshwater Scientist of The Nature Conservancy’s North America Region, Dr. Kendy provides technical and strategic support to the Conservancy’s freshwater programs that protect and restore environmental flows.   With international colleagues, she developed and helps implement ELOHA, a scientific framework to establish regional streamflow standards.  She also co-manages the binational science team that designed and monitors responses to environmental water deliveries to the Colorado River Delta under Minute 319.

Prior to joining the Conservancy, Dr. Kendy was a consulting hydrogeologist, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrogeologist, a hydrogeologist and policy analyst with the International Water Management Institute, and a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Harry Reid.  She earned a Ph.D. in 2002 in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), an M.S. in 1986 in Hydrogeology from the University of Wisconsin (Madison), and a B.A. in 1983 in Geological Sciences from the University of California (Santa Barbara).


Keynote presentation: Just Add Water:  Historic Return of the Colorado River to its Delta, United States and México

Minute 319, a binational agreement between the United States and México, authorized environmental flows into the Colorado River Delta, including a high-profile pulse flow delivered in March through May 2014.  Future environmental flows to the delta hinge on demonstrating the feasibility of delivering environmental water and documenting positive ecological responses of the delta’s severely degraded riparian habitat.  The design of the flow’s hydrograph, the novel utilization of irrigation infrastructure, the preparation and subsequent maintenance of selected restoration sites, and interdisciplinary monitoring at multiple scales combined to show that ecological restoration is possible, even with extremely small water volumes compared to historical flows.  The overwhelmingly positive social responses to the flow are likely as pivotal to future flows as are the biophysical responses.  The pulse flow’s unique binational character demanded exceptional collaboration and communication involving local, state, and federal government agencies; water managers; water users; scientists; and non-governmental organizations.  The success of such a politically, operationally, and scientifically complex endeavor in the severely over-allocated Colorado River Basin bodes well for the future of environmental flows in its delta and in other water-stressed settings, worldwide.

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More information and associated articles:

Raise the River (Reconnect the Colorado)| Restoring the Colorado Delta | Explaining the Delta Pulse Flow


Eloise Kendya,*, Karl W. Flessab, Karen J. Schlatterc, Carlos A. de la Parrad, Osvel M. Hinojosa Huertae, Yamilett K. Carrillo-Guerrerof, Enrique Guillenf

a The Nature Conservancy, North America Region, Helena, MT, USA

b University of Arizona, Department of Geological Sciences, Tucson, AZ, USA

c Sononran Institute, Tucson, AZ, USA

d El Colegio de la Frontera, Department of Urban and Environmental Studies, Tijuana, BC, México

e Pronatura Noroeste, Ensenada, BC, México

f Restauremos el Colorado, Mexicali, BC, México

* Corresponding author.  Email address:  ekendy@tnc.org

Peer-reviewed papers pertaining to the abstract:

Kendy, E.; Flessa, K.W.; Schlatter, K.J.; de la Parra, C.A.; Hinojosa-Huerta, O.M.; Carrillo-Guerrero, Y.K.; Guillen, E. Leveraging environmental flows to reform water management policy: lessons learned from the 2014 Colorado River delta pulse flow. Ecological Engineering.        http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.02.012; 2017

Pitt, J.; Kendy, E. Shaping the 2014 Colorado River delta pulse flow: rapid environmental flow design for ecological outcomes and scientific learning. Ecological Engineering.         http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.12.002; 2017

Ramírez-Hernández, J.; Rodríguez-Burgueño, J.E.; Kendy, E.; Salcedo-Peredia, A.; Lomeli, M. Hydrological response to an environmental flood: Pulse flow 2014 on the Colorado River Delta. Ecological Engineeringhttp://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.03.003; 2017


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