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Can we improve dam safety and ecological dam performance at the same time?

Froehlich, Felix and Dittmann, Robert and Muschalla, Dirk and Bornschein, Antje and Ostrowski, Manfred W. and Pohl, Reinhard (2007):
Can we improve dam safety and ecological dam performance at the same time?
ICOLD, In: 75th Annual Meeting of the ICOLD, Dam Safety Management – Role of State, Private Companies and Public in Designing, Constructing and Operating of Large Dams, St. Petersburg, Russia, 24.06.2007, [Conference or Workshop Item]

Abstract

Natural river habitats are subject to continuous changes. The flow regime of a stream affects flow velocity, water depth, sediment transport, water quality and river morphology, as well as the frequency and depth with which floodplains are inundated. The flow regime thus acts as a 'master variable' that influences many aspects of the river habitat. Many aquatic organisms are specialised on being able to cope with the continuously changing environment they inhabit, some are capable of using these circumstances to their advantage and others even depend on them. Reservoir releases that do not imitate the natural flow regime result in changed habitat conditions for organisms inhabiting the affected reaches below the reservoir. In many cases, this leads to an ecological impoverishment of the affected reaches and/or to the invasion of foreign species that are better suited to survive in the changed conditions, in both cases resulting in a changed ecosystem. This research project focuses on the reduction of flood risk along rivers regarding both the failure probability of affected structures as well as the damage inflicted upon socio-economic and ecological values downstream of reservoirs. This is achieved by developing tools that allow for improved, model-based reservoir regulation with dynamic releases. In order to preserve or restore a natural river habitat, the flow regime of a river that is affected by a reservoir has to imitate the natural flow regime as closely as possible. This concerns properties such as quantity, frequency, duration, timing as well as the rate of change of flow. A reservoir operation model is used to define dynamic releases which can then be optimised with regard to multiple target criteria (flood protection, ecological issues) using evolutionary algorithms. The methodology is applied to different study areas in Germany in order to improve existing reservoir operating rules regarding both flood protection as well as ecological aspects.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Erschienen: 2007
Creators: Froehlich, Felix and Dittmann, Robert and Muschalla, Dirk and Bornschein, Antje and Ostrowski, Manfred W. and Pohl, Reinhard
Title: Can we improve dam safety and ecological dam performance at the same time?
Language: English
Abstract:

Natural river habitats are subject to continuous changes. The flow regime of a stream affects flow velocity, water depth, sediment transport, water quality and river morphology, as well as the frequency and depth with which floodplains are inundated. The flow regime thus acts as a 'master variable' that influences many aspects of the river habitat. Many aquatic organisms are specialised on being able to cope with the continuously changing environment they inhabit, some are capable of using these circumstances to their advantage and others even depend on them. Reservoir releases that do not imitate the natural flow regime result in changed habitat conditions for organisms inhabiting the affected reaches below the reservoir. In many cases, this leads to an ecological impoverishment of the affected reaches and/or to the invasion of foreign species that are better suited to survive in the changed conditions, in both cases resulting in a changed ecosystem. This research project focuses on the reduction of flood risk along rivers regarding both the failure probability of affected structures as well as the damage inflicted upon socio-economic and ecological values downstream of reservoirs. This is achieved by developing tools that allow for improved, model-based reservoir regulation with dynamic releases. In order to preserve or restore a natural river habitat, the flow regime of a river that is affected by a reservoir has to imitate the natural flow regime as closely as possible. This concerns properties such as quantity, frequency, duration, timing as well as the rate of change of flow. A reservoir operation model is used to define dynamic releases which can then be optimised with regard to multiple target criteria (flood protection, ecological issues) using evolutionary algorithms. The methodology is applied to different study areas in Germany in order to improve existing reservoir operating rules regarding both flood protection as well as ecological aspects.

Publisher: ICOLD
Divisions: 13 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences > Institute of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering > Engineering Hydrology and Water Management
13 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences > Institute of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering
13 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sciences
Event Title: 75th Annual Meeting of the ICOLD, Dam Safety Management – Role of State, Private Companies and Public in Designing, Constructing and Operating of Large Dams
Event Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Event Dates: 24.06.2007
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2009 16:38
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