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Analysis of Hydrologic Regime Changes Caused by Small Hydropower Plants in Lowland Rivers

Laboratory of Hydrology, Lithuanian Energy Institute, Breslaujos St. 3, LT–444003 Kaunas, Lithuania
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Academic Editor: Bruno Majone
Water 2021, 13(14), 1961; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141961
Received: 8 June 2021 / Revised: 9 July 2021 / Accepted: 16 July 2021 / Published: 17 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
Hydropower remains the most important and largest source of renewable energy. However, besides many additional benefits, such as dams for water supply, irrigation, flood control, recreation, navigation, etc., hydropower generation has a negative impact on the environment. This study aimed to investigate the hydrologic changes in Lithuanian lowland rivers caused by small hydropower plants (HPPs). Thirty-two indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHA) were studied in 11 rivers downstream of hydropower plants in the post-impact and pre-impact periods. The findings showed that HPPs and reservoirs considerably disturbed the primary flow of river ecosystems downstream. The largest changes in mean IHA values were found for low and high pulse characteristics (up to 57%) and the number of reversals (up to 44%). Only small or no deviations of the timing of annual extreme flows were found. The number of reversals, a low pulse count, and a fall rate were the flow characteristics that fell outside their historical ranges of variability most often. Six (out of 11) hydropower plants were identified that provoked hydrologic alterations of a moderate degree. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydropower plants; lowland rivers; indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHA); range of variability approach (RVA) hydropower plants; lowland rivers; indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHA); range of variability approach (RVA)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Šarauskienė, D.; Adžgauskas, G.; Kriaučiūnienė, J.; Jakimavičius, D. Analysis of Hydrologic Regime Changes Caused by Small Hydropower Plants in Lowland Rivers. Water 2021, 13, 1961. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141961

AMA Style

Šarauskienė D, Adžgauskas G, Kriaučiūnienė J, Jakimavičius D. Analysis of Hydrologic Regime Changes Caused by Small Hydropower Plants in Lowland Rivers. Water. 2021; 13(14):1961. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141961

Chicago/Turabian Style

Šarauskienė, Diana, Gintaras Adžgauskas, Jūratė Kriaučiūnienė, and Darius Jakimavičius. 2021. "Analysis of Hydrologic Regime Changes Caused by Small Hydropower Plants in Lowland Rivers" Water 13, no. 14: 1961. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141961

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