Sensitivity of methods for calculating environmental flows based on hydrological characteristics of watercourses regarding the hydropower potential of rivers

Dariusz Młyński , Agnieszka Operacz , Andrzej Wałęga


The paper analyses selected problems with the estimation of environmental flows (EF) in the aspect of hydroelectric potential of rivers. The study was conducted for mountain catchments located in the upper Vistula catchment in Poland: Mszanka, Poroniec, Grajcarek, Ochotnica, and Kamienica Nawojowska. The data for calculations, in the form of observational series of daily flows in the years 1985-2014, were obtained from the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management of the National Research Institute in Warsaw. Based on the data, environmental flows were calculated as 25% Mean Annual Flow (MAF), 70% Median Flow, Q90, 7Q10, 7Q2, and additionally with the Eflows Management Framework and Upscaling method (EMFU). The calculations made it possible to indicate the main problems related to the calculation of environmental flows using hydrological methods: selection of the appropriate characteristic flow, the method of determining guaranteed flows, selection of appropriate statistical distributions or sensitivity of environmental flows to the length of the observation series for which they are esteemed. In addition, the paper showed that the choice of method for calculating the environmental flow influences the volume of electricity production in hydroelectric plants. For watercourses not covered by specific forms of protection, the compromise between environmental protection and investment economics seems to be calculating the EF value by 25% MAF or Q90. It was also found that it is optimal to maintain the value of EF (from the point of view of caring caring for the aquatic environment) along with choosing the economically justified options.
Author Dariusz Młyński (FoEEaLS / DoSEaWM)
Dariusz Młyński,,
- Department of Sanitary Engineering and Water Management
, Agnieszka Operacz (FoEEaLS / DoSEaWM)
Agnieszka Operacz,,
- Department of Sanitary Engineering and Water Management
, Andrzej Wałęga (FoEEaLS / DoSEaWM)
Andrzej Wałęga,,
- Department of Sanitary Engineering and Water Management
Journal seriesJournal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, e-ISSN 1879-1786, (N/A 140 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.6
Article number119527
Keywords in EnglishEnvironmental flows, Hydrological methods, Hydroelectric potential of rivers
ASJC Classification1408 Strategy and Management; 2105 Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment; 2209 Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; 2300 General Environmental Science
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)140
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 2.308; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 6.395 (2) - 2018=7.051 (5)
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