Main content area

Combined use of the hydraulic and hydrological methods to calculate the environmental flow: Wisloka river, Poland: case study

Książek, Leszek, Woś, Agnieszka, Florek, Jacek, Wyrębek, Maciej, Młyński, Dariusz, Wałęga, Andrzej
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2019 v.191 no.4 pp. 254
case studies, cost effectiveness, ecosystems, fish, fishery resources, fluid mechanics, habitats, models, rivers, water management, Poland
The scarcity of water can result in a direct conflict between the protection of aquatic resources and water use. For many agencies, environmental flow (EF) methods are essential in environmental impact assessments and in the protection of important fisheries resources. The objective of this paper is to compare selected hydrological and hydraulic methods and determine the scientifically acceptable and cost-effective way to environmental flow within a section of a mountain river with high naturalness, on the example of the Wisłoka. In this paper, environmental flow was calculated using conventional hydrological methods: Tennant’s, Tessman’s, flow duration curve and hydraulic methods, wetted perimeter method (WPM) and method based directly on ichthyofauna habitat requirements (spawn and migration). The novelty is the combined use of the hydraulic and hydrological methods which relates to flow hydraulics based directly on ichthyofauna habitat conditions. The hydraulic methods provide lower values of environmental flow in comparison with the hydrological methods. The key issue in the use of the hydraulic methods is the choice of criteria. The development of the required set of parameters while taking into account their seasonal nature shifts the method toward habitat modeling methods. However, the scope of habitat requirements of ecosystems must be defined, including the set of aquatic organisms and watercourse type before a hydraulic method may be widely used. Being generally low-cost and simple, the methods presented in this paper can be applied in the water management legislative process.