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Estimation of Hydrologic Alteration in Kaligandaki River Using Representative Hydrologic Indices

College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, No. 1, Xi Kang Rd., Gu Lou District, Nanjing 210098, China
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Water 2019, 11(4), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040688
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
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Abstract

Anthropogenic activities have led to the transformation of river basins and natural flow alteration around the world. Alteration in flow regimes have adverse effects on river ecosystems. Flow value changes signify the alteration extent and a number of flow related indices can be used to assess the extent of alteration in a river ecosystem. Selection of a few and ecologically relevant indices from a large set of available indices is a daunting task. Principal Component Analysis helps to reduce these large indices to a few ecologically significant indices and removes statistical redundancy of data to give uncorrelated data sets. These representative indices are useful in the primary investigation of a less studied area like the Kaligandaki River basin, Nepal. This paper uses reduced indices from the Kaligandaki River to calculate the alteration on the river section downstream of a hydropower facility using the Histogram Comparison Approach (HCA) combined with Hydrologic Year Types (HYT). The combined approach eliminates the potential underestimation of alteration values which may occur due to the exemption of hydrologic year types from the analysis, a feature equally relevant in river ecology. A new metric is used for the calculation of combined alteration using HCA-HYT in this paper. The analysis showed 60.71 percent alteration in the natural flow regime in the area past a hydropower construction, which is classified in the high alteration category. The study can be a guide for further analysis of the ecological flow management of a river section and a parsimonious approach to other areas where hydrological data is limited to historical flow records only. View Full-Text
Keywords: range of variability approach; principal component analysis; histogram comparison approach; hydrologic year types; flow variability; natural flow regime range of variability approach; principal component analysis; histogram comparison approach; hydrologic year types; flow variability; natural flow regime
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Yuqin, G.; Pandey, K.P.; Huang, X.; Suwal, N.; Bhattarai, K.P. Estimation of Hydrologic Alteration in Kaligandaki River Using Representative Hydrologic Indices. Water 2019, 11, 688.

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