Stream health assessments and Fluvial Hazard Zone mapping are complementary studies that together provide useful information to decision-makers in stream management planning efforts because many of the stressors that impair stream health are caused by actions taken to alter stream corridors for a variety of reasons (e.g., transportation infrastructure such as roadways, railroads, and crossings; water diversions and water storage reservoirs; suburban/rural residential and commercial developments; and flood control structures such as riprap, levees, and berms). Anticipating these hazards when making decisions about land-use planning, future development, conservation areas, and restoration projects is a good way to protect stream health and valuable ecosystem services while simultaneously reducing risk. This is the path to building healthy resilient communities.
More information on fluvial hazard zone mapping is available on the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s FHZ website, along with a helpful introductory video. The website includes links to the CWCB’s FHZ delineation protocol, links to overview fact sheets, and community planning and regulatory support resources.