University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Logo BOKU Resarch Portal

Selected Publication:

Hayes, DS; Moreira, M; Boavida, I; Haslauer, M; Unfer, G; Zeiringer, B; Greimel, F; Auer, S; Ferreira, T; Schmutz, S.
(2019): Life Stage-Specific Hydropeaking Flow Rules
SUSTAINABILITY-BASEL. 2019; 11(6), 1547 FullText FullText_BOKU

Peak-operating hydropower plants are usually the energy grid's backbone by providing flexible energy production. At the same time, hydropeaking operations are considered one of the most adverse impacts on rivers, whereby aquatic organisms and their life-history stages can be affected in many ways. Therefore, we propose specific seasonal regulations to protect ecologically sensitive life cycle stages. By reviewing hydropeaking literature, we establish a framework for hydrological mitigation based on life-history stages of salmonid fish and their relationship with key parameters of the hydrograph. During migration and spawning, flows should be kept relatively stable, and a flow cap should be implemented to prevent the dewatering of spawning grounds during intragravel life stages. While eggs may be comparably tolerant to dewatering, post-hatch stages are very vulnerable, which calls for minimizing or eliminating the duration of drawdown situations and providing adequate minimum flows. Especially emerging fry are extremely sensitive to flow fluctuations. As fish then grow in size, they become less vulnerable. Therefore, an emergence window', where stringent thresholds on ramping rates are enforced, is proposed. Furthermore, time of day, morphology, and temperature changes must be considered as they may interact with hydropeaking. We conclude that the presented mitigation framework can aid the environmental enhancement of hydropeaking rivers while maintaining flexible energy production.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Auer Stefan
Greimel Franz
Haslauer Melanie
Hayes Daniel S.
Schmutz Stefan
Unfer G√ľnther
Zeiringer Bernhard

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
sustainable hydropower
sub-daily flow fluctuations
peak-load energy production
pulsed flows
environmental flow
biologically sensitive periods
Salmo salar
Salmo trutta
Thymallus thymallus

© BOKU Wien Imprint