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Peer-Review Record

Classifying Dams for Environmental Flow Implementation in China

Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 107;
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 107;
Received: 28 November 2019 / Revised: 16 December 2019 / Accepted: 16 December 2019 / Published: 21 December 2019

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Well written and interesting paper.

However, you should make the abstract concise because the abstract is long.


Author Response



Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

According to the authors, the submitted paper proposes a classification framework for environmental flow implementation based on indicators of dam properties, hydrological regimes and hydrobiological characteristics. In my opinion, it contains results of a case study that is elaborated with ambition to give an improvement to local water management policy in China regarding environmental flow assessment. The applied methodology is based on very simple theory and well known indicators used in previous studies which means that scientific contribution is very limited if exists at all. Also, it is not clear how the proposed dam classification is practically related with the assessment of environmental flow quantity. In addition to the above, I could not find any other major flaws or weaknesses in the structure and presentation. Minor issues, such as “Error! Reference source not found”, should be corrected.

Author Response

Please see the attachment


Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 3 Report

This manuscript proposes a framework for dam classification to introduce specific classes of   river hydrotechnical structures for implementing environmental flows. Four classes are proposed to be distinguished based on three major categories including dam properties, hydrological alteration, and downstream hydrobiological diversities. 773 dams in China are considered and classified. Overall, the topic is of great importance and fits into the scope of the MDPI Sustainability Journal. The MS is important for improving our understanding of river ecohydrological alteration, and to give a base for the implementation of ecohydrological solutions. While the subject is interesting for the wide audience, this manuscript is not linguistically corrected making the text difficult to understand. The proof-reading should be definitively done, before submitting it again. Below please find couple of remarks to be considered, to make the manuscript more clear.

Line 13: “…effective” or “important”?

Line 21: “Ecohydrology relationship similar dams”, please use more clear terminology

Lines 24-26: “Finally, 773 dams in China are screened and ranked into four classes involved a great diversity of flow components from minimum flow to flow duration curve”. It is unclear what is meant here “…from minimum flow to flow duration curve”. Please be more specific. In the manuscript, the Flow Duration Curves were not analyzed… Besides, You cannot indicate the range from minimum to FDC !

Lines 28-29: it is unclear what is meant by “continuous flow duration curve”. By definition, the FDCs are continuous, taking empirical or theoretical distributions.

Line 40: please consider revision of keywords; Is “hydropower” really a necessary word?

Line 86: What is meant by”…the implementation takes too much time”??

Line 109: “Aspects of indicators”?? Or “categories”. Please be consequent using proper words.

Line 124: “…fourteen indicators”? Figure 1 includes 13 indicators.

Line 128: “fish species are analyzed”, please be more specific

Lines 210: Please indicate here the threshold mentioned further in the text. As You use further percentages, please adopt your 3-4-5 formulas.

Subdivision into the sections, like and even more, makes the structure unclear. Please consider an improvement.

Section 2.1.3 should describe the distinguished classes and exact criteria assumed. Please decide and unify terminology: e.g. “management classes”  

Line 158: “runoff” or You mean “discharge” if given in cubic meters.

Line 164: “is greater larger…” please correct

Lines 168-171: “After compare with runoff datasets, VIC (Variable Infiltration Capacity) generated runoff data, which was in high precision after calibrated with observed flow data from the Land Surface Processes and Global Change Research Group, was used in this study (Zhang et al., 2014).” This is not understandable !

Line 256: “It could be included in the same class…” ?

Line 261: 50% threshold, please include such units when describing formulas 1, 2 & 3.

Line 292-293: Please refer to the web pages or make a citation.

Titles of sections 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 are misleading. Using “classes” here makes you classification unclear.

Line 344: “Fourteen range of variability indicators”??

Several references are wrongly given: “(Error! Reference source not 390 found.)” It should be corrected.

Author Response

Please see the attachment


Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Round 2

Reviewer 3 Report

I appreciate the improvements and explanations given by the Authors.

I think this paper greatly contributes to the advancements in the field of adaptive water management.

The clean copy of the revised manuscript should be submitted.

Author Response

Thanks for your review and comments.

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