Special Issue "Addressing the Environmental Impacts of Hydropower"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydraulics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mark S. Bevelhimer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States
Tel. 865-576-0266
Interests: Environmental impacts of power generation by conventional hydropower, tidal turbines, and thermoelectric plants, including altered flow regimes, elevated temperatures, contaminant exposure, electromagnetic fields, underwater noise, and turbine injury. Fish growth response and bioenergetics modelling. Modular hydropower design with minimal environmental footprint.
Dr. Brenda M. Pracheil
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States
Tel. 865-241-5622
Interests: Understanding and assessing environmental effects of hydropower generation. Effects of energy production on fish and aquatic ecosystems. Fish otolith structure and chemistry including use of otolith chemistry to monitor environmental energy contaminants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As global demand for lower carbon sources of energy increases, many there have been renewed interests in hydropower development. However, hydropower dams and their operation have the potential to produce a variety of environmental impacts, including loss of river connectivity, interupted fish migration, injuries to fish passing through turbines, loss of river habitat, changes in water quality, and altered flow regimes. Similarly, new water power technologies like hydrokinetic turbines located in flowing rivers and tidal zones can present a variety of stressors to aquatic organisms, such as physical encounters with moving parts, obstruction to normal migration corridors, altered currents, and exposure to anthropogenic noise and electromagnetic fields.

For this special issue on the environmental effects of hydropower, we welcome papers that discuss:

  • original research (laboratory and field) on any of these environmental impacts described above,
  • quantitiative analyses of large-scale (i.e., population and community-level) biological impacts,
  • quantitative analysis of ecosystem-level impacts,
  • innovative science- and technology-based solutions designed to reduce or account for impacts,
  • innovative approaches to site selection or prioritization that seeks to reduce environmental impacts,
  • design features that mitigate specific enviornmental stressors,
  • regional and continental differences in impacts and solutions,
  • case studies,
  • other topics related to the environmental impacts of hydropower.

We are especially interested in papers that pressent possible solutions to address these environmental issues.

Dr. Mark S. Bevelhimer
Dr. Brenda M. Pracheil
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Hydropower
  • Hydrokinetic turbines
  • Turbine blade strike
  • barotrauma
  • altered flow
  • fish habitat
  • river connectivity
  • environmental effects
  • environmental mitigation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Water-Exchange Response of Downstream River–Lake System to the Flow Regulation of the Three Gorges Reservoir, China
Water 2019, 11(11), 2394; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112394 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Hydrological regime changes in the river–lake system and their influences on the ecological environment downstream dams have attracted increasingly more attention all over the world. The Dongting lake downstream of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) in the Yangtze River has been experiencing a [...] Read more.
Hydrological regime changes in the river–lake system and their influences on the ecological environment downstream dams have attracted increasingly more attention all over the world. The Dongting lake downstream of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) in the Yangtze River has been experiencing a series of hydraulic and hydrological changes over the last decade. The hydrological and ecological influences of the TGD flow regulation on the Dongting river–lake system and its functional mechanism during the impounding periods remain extremely unclear. This study examines the hydrological changes in the Dongting river–lake system based on a 1D/2D coupled hydrodynamic model. In particular, the inflow boundary of the model with and without the TGD was applied with the outflow and inflow of the TGD, respectively, during the same regulation periods. The results show that the diverted flow from the Yangtze River into the Dongting lake and outflow from the lake back to the river drastically decreased during the impounding periods, especially in October. The decreased water exchange between the Yangtze River and the Dongting lake impaired the water residence capacity to some extent in the lake. Stage decrease in the lake area resulted in a significant reduction in the water volume of the Dongting lake with the same time percentage. In addition, the obvious drainage effect in Dongting lake due to the increased stage difference and current speed after the TGD operation was the essential cause of hydrological changes in the lake area. These results provide an improvement in the understanding of impoundment influences on the large river–lake system and give some practical information for ecological environment management in similar river–lake systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing the Environmental Impacts of Hydropower)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact Analysis of Karst Reservoir Construction on the Surrounding Environment: A Case Study for the Southwest of China
Water 2019, 11(11), 2327; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112327 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
With the rapid growth of the global demand for low-carbon energy, the development of hydropower has ushered in new development, but the ecological and environmental problems caused by this cannot be ignored. Taking the safe and efficient operation of water conservancy projects as [...] Read more.
With the rapid growth of the global demand for low-carbon energy, the development of hydropower has ushered in new development, but the ecological and environmental problems caused by this cannot be ignored. Taking the safe and efficient operation of water conservancy projects as the goal, this paper took the Maling Water Conservancy Project (MWCP) as an example to predict and evaluate the ecological environment risks of water conservancy projects. Based on the on-site geological surveys and experiments, the big well method and the long narrow horizontal tunnel method were used to estimate the water inflow from the underground caverns. The contaminant migration model was used to predict and analyze the groundwater quality. The impact of the MWCP on the surrounding environment was systematically analyzed and evaluated. The results showed that the estimated water inflow from the underground powerhouse and the water conveyance pipeline was about 7403.6 m3/d during the construction period. The groundwater level in the reservoir area could recover after a short drop, which had little effect on the surrounding vegetation. The groundwater quality was affected obviously because the migration speed of contaminants was very fast under abnormal conditions. During the operation period, it had little effect on groundwater level and had certain influence on groundwater flow field in local area. The source of sewage was mainly a small amount of domestic sewage, which could be ignored after taking anti-seepage measures. After storing water in the reservoir area, there was a possibility of small-scale immersion on the right bank. Most of the reservoirs had good stability conditions but the stability of the upper fault valley was poor; however, the possibility of leakage was very small. Overall, the project had little impact on the surrounding environment. The research results could also provide some references for other hydroelectric projects within the basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing the Environmental Impacts of Hydropower)
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