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Long-Term Downstream Effects of a Dam on a Lowland River Flow Regime: Case Study of the Upper Narew

Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Nowoursynowska 166 Street, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
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Water 2017, 9(10), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100783
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 12 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Catchment Management and Reservoir Operation)
Most European riverine ecosystems suffer from the negative influence of impoundments on flow regime. Downstream effects of dams lead to a number of environmental and socioeconomic risks and, therefore, should be thoroughly examined in specific contexts. Our study aims to quantify the downstream effects of the Siemianówka Reservoir (Upper Narew, Poland), using statistical analysis of key elements of the river’s flow regime, such as the flow duration and recurrence of floods and droughts. In a comparative study on control catchments not influenced by impoundments (the Supraśl and Narewka Rivers), we revealed the following downstream effects of the analyzed dam: significant shortening of spring floods, reduction of the duration and depth of summer droughts, decrease of the maximum discharge, and homogenization of the discharge hydrographs. Although we determined a significant decrease in the duration of summer floods in the “before” and “after” dam function periods, we showed that this issue is regional, climate-related, and replicated in control catchments, rather than an evident downstream effect of the dam. We conclude that significant hydrological downstream effects of the Siemianówka dam–reservoir system could have been the main driver inducing the deterioration of the anastomosing stretch of the Narew River downstream of the dam. View Full-Text
Keywords: Siemianówka; hydrology; Narew River; dam; reservoir; discharge; flow regime Siemianówka; hydrology; Narew River; dam; reservoir; discharge; flow regime
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Marcinkowski, P.; Grygoruk, M. Long-Term Downstream Effects of a Dam on a Lowland River Flow Regime: Case Study of the Upper Narew. Water 2017, 9, 783.

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