Conference Proceedings

Impacts of regulation on low flow ecological habitat

GJ Vietz, M Sammonds, MJ Stewardson

34th IAHR Congress 2011 - Balance and Uncertainty: Water in a Changing World, Incorporating the 33rd Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium and the 10th Conference on Hydraulics in Water Engineering | Published : 2011


The aim of this research is to contribute improved understanding of the effects of flow regulation on stream health. In particular we focus on slow-flowing and shallow aquatic habitats, referred to here as slackwaters, as they play an important and demonstrable role in the ecology of lowland rivers for fish, invertebrates and aquatic plants. Using a 2-dimensional hydrodynamic model (River2D) for the Broken River, north central Victoria, a tributary of the Murray Darling Basin, we demonstrate that elevated regulated flows can reduce the abundance of slackwater habitat by more than half. This preliminary work has consequences for the operation of storages and confirms the long held suspicions ..

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