Event Title

Session E4: An Index-Based Framework to Assess River Fragmentation and Flow Regulation and its Application in Basin-Scale Strategic Dam Planning

Presenter Information

Guenther Grill, McGill University

Location

Groningen, The Netherlands

Event Website

http://fishpassage.umass.edu/

Start Date

23-6-2015 10:50 AM

End Date

23-6-2015 11:05 AM

Description

Abstract:

A renewed focus on large hydropower developments causes the rapid proliferation of new dams which may pose serious impacts on rivers, including those that support high levels of biodiversity or provide important sources of food from fisheries or flood-recession agriculture. To minimize the impact on fish populations, fitting new infrastructure with technology to improve fish passage and minimize fish loss is of paramount importance. On a basin-scale level, better dam planning strategies are needed that optimize the spatial arrangement of future dams in a river basin to promote large migration corridors and to maintain fish movement through the channel network in critical areas of the basin. We developed a globally applicable impact assessment framework based on a graphbased river routing model to assess river fragmentation by dams at multiple scales using data at high spatial resolution. We calculated the cumulative impact of a set of 6374 large existing dams and 3377 planned or proposed dams on river connectivity at basin and subbasin scales. The results of our research emphasize the need for water managers and planners to consider cumulative, large-scale impacts of multiple dams as part of an integrated ‘river systems’ mindset. We present examples of river basins where our framework can be implemented in strategic dam planning efforts and regional scenario developments to help identify the most critical sets of dams or alternative options in efforts to minimize social and environmental tradeoffs associated with dam development while maintaining their socio-economic benefits.

Comments

Presenting Author Bio: Günther Grill is a Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University. He earned his Phd in Geography from McGill University in 2014, obtained a MSc in Geographic Information Science and Systems at the Center of Geomatics, University of Salzburg in 2005, Austria, and a MSc in Geography at Friedrich-Alexander-University in 2002, Erlangen, Germany. He also worked in local river development planning, contributed to assessment reports of the European Water Framework Directive and worked as a GISconsultant to the Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC. His current focus is global-scale hydrological modelling, to assess the status of free flowing rivers globally, including the impacts of dam construction on river fragmentation and flow regulation.

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Jun 23rd, 10:50 AM Jun 23rd, 11:05 AM

Session E4: An Index-Based Framework to Assess River Fragmentation and Flow Regulation and its Application in Basin-Scale Strategic Dam Planning

Groningen, The Netherlands

Abstract:

A renewed focus on large hydropower developments causes the rapid proliferation of new dams which may pose serious impacts on rivers, including those that support high levels of biodiversity or provide important sources of food from fisheries or flood-recession agriculture. To minimize the impact on fish populations, fitting new infrastructure with technology to improve fish passage and minimize fish loss is of paramount importance. On a basin-scale level, better dam planning strategies are needed that optimize the spatial arrangement of future dams in a river basin to promote large migration corridors and to maintain fish movement through the channel network in critical areas of the basin. We developed a globally applicable impact assessment framework based on a graphbased river routing model to assess river fragmentation by dams at multiple scales using data at high spatial resolution. We calculated the cumulative impact of a set of 6374 large existing dams and 3377 planned or proposed dams on river connectivity at basin and subbasin scales. The results of our research emphasize the need for water managers and planners to consider cumulative, large-scale impacts of multiple dams as part of an integrated ‘river systems’ mindset. We present examples of river basins where our framework can be implemented in strategic dam planning efforts and regional scenario developments to help identify the most critical sets of dams or alternative options in efforts to minimize social and environmental tradeoffs associated with dam development while maintaining their socio-economic benefits.

https://scholarworks.umass.edu/fishpassage_conference/2015/June23/79