Water and flow reductions in the channels downstream of water storage and hydropower projects have significant impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Understanding and analyzing the ecosystem status is of great significance to facilitate the protection of riverine ecosystems. A database was established based on the 2000–2017 environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports on water storage and hydropower projects in China, and corresponding analysis software was built based on an ArcGIS spatial analysis platform. The projects in China are mainly found in the Yangtze and Pearl River basins and in south-western China. The hydropower projects have a larger influence than the water storage projects on the flow of downstream rivers sections, and most of the hydropower projects, especially the water diversion projects, cause flow reductions in the downstream rivers. An ecological flow management mechanism in China implemented in 2006 provided a promising method to alleviate river flow reductions. However, there is still only one kind of ecological flow calculation method and few ecological flow regulation measures in use. Based on the advantages and problems of the existing ecological flow management system, this paper proposes a management scheme based on a regional-engineering calculation method. The results can facilitate decision making in ecological flow management.
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