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Characteristics and Adaptability Assessment of Commonly Used Ecological Flow Methods in Water Storage and Hydropower Projects, the Case of Chinese River Basins

by Lejun Ma 1,2,3, Huan Wang 4,5,*, Changjun Qi 1,6, Xinnan Zhang 1,2,4 and Hanwen Zhang 1,7
1
Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2
National Engineering Research Center of Water Resources Efficient Utilization and Engineering Safety, Nanjing 210098, China
3
Nanjing Hohai Technology Company, Nanjing 210098, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, Nanjing 210029, China
5
Hydrology and Water Resources Department, Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, Nanjing 210098, China
6
Appraisal Center for Environment & Engineering, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Beijing 100012, China
7
Shanghai Investigation, Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd., Shanghai 200335, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2035; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102035
Received: 8 August 2019 / Revised: 25 September 2019 / Accepted: 25 September 2019 / Published: 29 September 2019
The construction and operation of water storage and hydropower projects affects the structure of water ecosystems of downstream rivers, and the establishment of ecological flow in rivers below the water storage and hydropower projects has significant impacts on maintaining the stability of river ecosystems. A database was established based on 2000–2017 environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports on water storage and hydropower projects in China and ecological flow (e-flow) methods, and the three widely used e-flow methods for water storage and hydropower projects in China were identified on the database. Furthermore, an ecological flow satisfaction degree model was used to evaluate the methods using long series of historical hydrological data from the hydrological stations in the Yellow River basin, the Yangtze River basin, and the Liao River basin. The results showed that hydrological methods are the type most often used for water storage and hydropower projects in China, including the Tennant method, the minimum monthly average flow with 90% guarantee rate method (Mm9M method), and the measured historical minimum daily average flow rate method (MDM method). However, the ecological flow methods selected are not significantly different among different basins, indicating that the selection of ecological flow methods is rather arbitrary, and adaptability analysis is not available. The results of the ecological flow satisfaction model showed that the Tennant method is not suitable for large river basins. The results of this study can provide technical support for establishment and management decisions surrounding ecological flow. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological flow method; water storage and hydropower project; adaptability assessment ecological flow method; water storage and hydropower project; adaptability assessment
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Ma, L.; Wang, H.; Qi, C.; Zhang, X.; Zhang, H. Characteristics and Adaptability Assessment of Commonly Used Ecological Flow Methods in Water Storage and Hydropower Projects, the Case of Chinese River Basins. Water 2019, 11, 2035.

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