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Review

Life Stage-Specific Hydropeaking Flow Rules

1
Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), 1180 Vienna, Austria
2
Forest Research Center (CEF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia, University of Lisbon, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
3
Center for Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability (CERIS), Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1547; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061547
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
Peak-operating hydropower plants are usually the energy grid’s backbone by providing flexible energy production. At the same time, hydropeaking operations are considered one of the most adverse impacts on rivers, whereby aquatic organisms and their life-history stages can be affected in many ways. Therefore, we propose specific seasonal regulations to protect ecologically sensitive life cycle stages. By reviewing hydropeaking literature, we establish a framework for hydrological mitigation based on life-history stages of salmonid fish and their relationship with key parameters of the hydrograph. During migration and spawning, flows should be kept relatively stable, and a flow cap should be implemented to prevent the dewatering of spawning grounds during intragravel life stages. While eggs may be comparably tolerant to dewatering, post-hatch stages are very vulnerable, which calls for minimizing or eliminating the duration of drawdown situations and providing adequate minimum flows. Especially emerging fry are extremely sensitive to flow fluctuations. As fish then grow in size, they become less vulnerable. Therefore, an ‘emergence window’, where stringent thresholds on ramping rates are enforced, is proposed. Furthermore, time of day, morphology, and temperature changes must be considered as they may interact with hydropeaking. We conclude that the presented mitigation framework can aid the environmental enhancement of hydropeaking rivers while maintaining flexible energy production. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable hydropower; sub-daily flow fluctuations; peak-load energy production; pulsed flows; environmental flow; biologically sensitive periods; salmonids; Salmo salar; Salmo trutta; Thymallus thymallus sustainable hydropower; sub-daily flow fluctuations; peak-load energy production; pulsed flows; environmental flow; biologically sensitive periods; salmonids; Salmo salar; Salmo trutta; Thymallus thymallus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hayes, D.S.; Moreira, M.; Boavida, I.; Haslauer, M.; Unfer, G.; Zeiringer, B.; Greimel, F.; Auer, S.; Ferreira, T.; Schmutz, S. Life Stage-Specific Hydropeaking Flow Rules. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1547. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061547

AMA Style

Hayes DS, Moreira M, Boavida I, Haslauer M, Unfer G, Zeiringer B, Greimel F, Auer S, Ferreira T, Schmutz S. Life Stage-Specific Hydropeaking Flow Rules. Sustainability. 2019; 11(6):1547. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061547

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hayes, Daniel S., Miguel Moreira, Isabel Boavida, Melanie Haslauer, Günther Unfer, Bernhard Zeiringer, Franz Greimel, Stefan Auer, Teresa Ferreira, and Stefan Schmutz. 2019. "Life Stage-Specific Hydropeaking Flow Rules" Sustainability 11, no. 6: 1547. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061547

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