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When water is diverted from streams there can be serious ecological ramifications downstream if minimum flows and levels are not preserved. There are often government regulations guiding how much of a stream can be diverted for agriculture or human use.
How to operationalize the metric
Method of data collection and data needed to compute the method:
Measuring the flow of a stream can be estimated by measuring the area of the cross section of the stream and averaging the speed of water flow from one bank to the other. A more precise measurement method is constructing a permanent flow meter in the channel.
Unit of analysis:
Limitations regarding estimating and interpreting: