Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) is a software program that provides useful information for those trying to understand the hydrologic impacts of human activities or trying to develop environmental flow recommendations for water managers. Nearly 2,000 water resource managers, hydrologists, ecologists, researchers and policy makers from around the world have used this program to assess how rivers, lakes and groundwater basins have been affected by human activities over time – or to evaluate future water management scenarios.
This program was developed by scientists at The Nature Conservancy to facilitate hydrologic analysis in an ecologically-meaningful manner. The software program assesses 67 ecologically-relevant statistics derived from daily hydrologic data. For instance, the IHA software can calculate the timing and maximum flow of each year’s largest flood or lowest flows, then calculates the mean and variance of these values over some period of time. Comparative analysis can then help statistically describe how these patterns have changed for a particular river or lake, due to abrupt impacts such as dam construction or more gradual trends associated with land- and water-use changes. The IHA software is described in a number of scientific papers.