Next Article in Journal
Use of the Zebra Mussel Dreissena polymorpha (Mollusca, Bivalvia) as a Bioindicator of Microplastics Pollution in Freshwater Ecosystems: A Case Study from Lake Iseo (North Italy)
Previous Article in Journal
Using Multi-Factor Analysis to Predict Urban Flood Depth Based on Naive Bayes
Open AccessArticle

Assessment of the Impact of Small Hydropower Plants on the Ecological Status Indicators of Water Bodies: A Case Study in Lithuania

1
Institute of Environment and Ecology, Faculty of Forest Science and Ecology, Vytautas Magnus University, Agriculture Academy, Studentų str. 11, LT-53361 Akademija, Kaunas distr., Lithuania
2
Institute of Hydraulic Engineering, Faculty of Water and Land Management, Vytautas Magnus University, Agriculture Academy, Universiteto str. 10, LT-53361 Akademija, Kaunas distr., Lithuania
3
Institute of Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Water and Land Management, Vytautas Magnus University, Agriculture Academy, Universiteto str. 10, LT-53361 Akademija, Kaunas distr., Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marco Franchini
Water 2021, 13(4), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040433
Received: 20 December 2020 / Revised: 28 January 2021 / Accepted: 2 February 2021 / Published: 7 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
Hydropower plants produce renewable and sustainable energy but affect the river’s physico-chemical characteristics and change the abundance and composition of the aquatic organisms. The impact of large HPPs on the ecological conditions of surface water bodies have been extensively studied, but less attention has been paid to environmental impact studies of small hydropower plants (SHPs). The impact of hydropeaking on both the river flow regime and ecosystems has been well-studied for peaking mode plants, mainly medium to large-sized ones. However, for small hydroelectric power plants, and especially for those in lowland rivers, the available information on water quality, benthic macroinvertebrates communities and fish abundance, and biomass is not sufficient. Ten small hydropower plants were selected, and the ecological status of water bodies was assessed in different parts of Lithuania. The studies were performed at the riverbed upstream from the SHPs, where the hydrological regime has not changed, and downstream from the SHPs. It was found that the small hydropower plants do not affect the physico-chemical values of the water quality indicators. This study demonstrated that the total number of benthic macroinvertebrates taxa (TS) is influenced by the concentration of nitrogen and suspended solids, the water flow, the river area, and the current speed; the number of EPT (Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies), and Trichoptera (caddisflies)) taxa is influenced by the concentration of nitrogen and suspended solids. The studied indicators do not have a significant impact on biomass. The SHPs affect the fish abundance and biomass. The Lithuanian fish index (LFI) is influenced by the average depth and area of the river. Some SHPs operating in lowland areas may yield somewhat significant hydrograph ramping but more detailed investigation is needed to support the significance of this impact on the biological indices. View Full-Text
Keywords: small hydropower plant (SHP); ecological status indicators; water quality small hydropower plant (SHP); ecological status indicators; water quality
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Česonienė, L.; Dapkienė, M.; Punys, P. Assessment of the Impact of Small Hydropower Plants on the Ecological Status Indicators of Water Bodies: A Case Study in Lithuania. Water 2021, 13, 433. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040433

AMA Style

Česonienė L, Dapkienė M, Punys P. Assessment of the Impact of Small Hydropower Plants on the Ecological Status Indicators of Water Bodies: A Case Study in Lithuania. Water. 2021; 13(4):433. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040433

Chicago/Turabian Style

Česonienė, Laima; Dapkienė, Midona; Punys, Petras. 2021. "Assessment of the Impact of Small Hydropower Plants on the Ecological Status Indicators of Water Bodies: A Case Study in Lithuania" Water 13, no. 4: 433. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040433

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop