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Open AccessArticle

Assessing the Potential of Agricultural Reservoirs as the Source of Environmental Flow

1
Korea Rural Community Corporation, Naju, Jeollanam-do 58327, Korea
2
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering & Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA
3
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milano, Italy
4
Department of Rural and Biosystems Engineering & Education and Research Unit for Climate-Smart Reclaimed Tideland Agriculture, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
5
Department of Cadastre and Civil Engineering, VISION College of Jeonju, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 55069, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Josue Medellin-Azuara
Water 2021, 13(4), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040508
Received: 11 January 2021 / Revised: 5 February 2021 / Accepted: 11 February 2021 / Published: 15 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management for Agricultural, Environmental and Urban Uses)
Excessive nutrient loadings from drainage areas and resulting water quality degradation in rivers are the major environmental issues around the world. The water quality further deteriorates for the large seasonal variation of precipitation and water flow. Environmental decision makers have been exploring affordable and effective ways of securing environmental flow (EF) to improve the water quality, especially in dry seasons, and agricultural reservoirs have attracted the attention of policymakers as an alternative source of EF. This study proposed an analysis framework for assessing the EF supply potential of agricultural reservoirs as alternative sources of EF. A reservoir water balance model was prepared to mathematically represent the reservoir water balance and quantify temporal variations of the amount of water available for the EF supply. The simulation model was designed to explicitly consider inflow from the upstream drainage areas, irrigation water requirement, and hydrological processes happening in the reservoirs. The proposed framework was applied to four agricultural reservoirs located in South Korea to evaluate its efficiency. Results showed that the additional storage capacity added by the dam reinforcement enabled the study reservoirs to satisfy both needs, EF and irrigation water supply. The surplus capacity turned out to be enough to satisfy various EF supply scenarios at the annual time scale. However, the current operation plans do not consider the seasonal variations of reservoir hydrology and thus cannot supply EF without violating the original operational goal, irrigation water, especially in dry months. The results demonstrate that it is necessary to consider the temporal variations of EF when developing reservoir operation rules and plans to secure EF. This study also highlights the unconventional roles of agricultural reservoirs as resources for improved environmental quality. The methods presented in this study are expected to be a useful tool for the assessment of agricultural reservoirs’ EF supply potential. View Full-Text
Keywords: irrigation; reservoir water balance; reservoir operation; hydrological modeling; four major rivers restoration project; tank model irrigation; reservoir water balance; reservoir operation; hydrological modeling; four major rivers restoration project; tank model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jo, Y.-J.; Song, J.-H.; Her, Y.; Provolo, G.; Beom, J.; Jeung, M.; Kim, Y.-J.; Yoo, S.-H.; Yoon, K.-S. Assessing the Potential of Agricultural Reservoirs as the Source of Environmental Flow. Water 2021, 13, 508. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040508

AMA Style

Jo Y-J, Song J-H, Her Y, Provolo G, Beom J, Jeung M, Kim Y-J, Yoo S-H, Yoon K-S. Assessing the Potential of Agricultural Reservoirs as the Source of Environmental Flow. Water. 2021; 13(4):508. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040508

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jo, Young-Jun; Song, Jung-Hun; Her, Younggu; Provolo, Giorgio; Beom, Jina; Jeung, Minhyuk; Kim, Young-Joo; Yoo, Seung-Hwan; Yoon, Kwang-Sik. 2021. "Assessing the Potential of Agricultural Reservoirs as the Source of Environmental Flow" Water 13, no. 4: 508. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040508

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