Environmental Flow Assessment Considering Inter- and Intra-Annual Streamflow Variability under the Context of Non-Stationarity
AbstractA key challenge to environmental flow assessment in many rivers is to evaluate how much of the discharge flow should be retained in the river in order to maintain the integrity and valued features of riverine ecosystems. With the increasing impact of climate change and human activities on riverine ecosystems, the natural flow regime paradigm in many rivers has become non-stationary conditions, which is a new challenge to the assessment of environmental flow. This study presents a useful framework to (1) detect change points in runoff time series using two statistical methods (Mann-Kendall test method and heuristic segmentation method), (2) adjust data of the changed period against the original flow series into a stationary condition using a procedure of reconstruction; and (3) incorporate inter- and intra-annual streamflow variability with adjusted streamflow to evaluate environmental flow. The Jialing to Han inter-basin water transfer project was selected as the case study. Results indicate that a change point of 1994 was identified, revealing that the stationarity of annual streamflow series is invalid. The variations of reconstructed streamflow series are roughly consistent with original streamflow series, especially in the maximum/minimum values and rise/fall rates, but the mean value of reconstructed streamflow series is increased. The reconstructed streamflow series would further serve to eliminate the non-stationary of original streamflow, and incorporating the inter- and intra-annual variability would upgrade the ecosystem fitness. Selecting different criteria for the conservation of riverine ecosystems can have significantly different consequences, and we should not focus on the protection of specific objectives that will inevitably affect other aspects. This study provides a useful framework for environmental flow assessment and can be applied to a wide range of instream flow management approaches to protect the riverine ecosystem. View Full-Text
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Ren, K.; Huang, S.; Huang, Q.; Wang, H.; Leng, G. Environmental Flow Assessment Considering Inter- and Intra-Annual Streamflow Variability under the Context of Non-Stationarity. Water 2018, 10, 1737.
Ren K, Huang S, Huang Q, Wang H, Leng G. Environmental Flow Assessment Considering Inter- and Intra-Annual Streamflow Variability under the Context of Non-Stationarity. Water. 2018; 10(12):1737.Chicago/Turabian Style
Ren, Kang; Huang, Shengzhi; Huang, Qiang; Wang, Hao; Leng, Guoyong. 2018. "Environmental Flow Assessment Considering Inter- and Intra-Annual Streamflow Variability under the Context of Non-Stationarity." Water 10, no. 12: 1737.
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