HydroEnv focuses on monitoring, modelling and optimizing environmental flow releases under future hydropower operation in Switzerland.

HydroEnv focuses on monitoring, modelling and optimizing environmental flow releases under future hydropower operation in Switzerland.

The project Optimizing Environmental Flow Releases under Future Hydropower Operation (HydroEnv) is part of the NRP 70 “Energy Turnaround” joint project Hydropower and geo-energy.

HydroEnv focuses on monitoring, modelling and optimizing environmental flow releases under future hydropower operation in Switzerland. HydroEnv aims at investigating how the planned hydropower production increase in Switzerland will affect the eco-hydrological dynamics in river systems downstream of dams and intakes. The four main objectives of the project are:

  1. To develop methods and tools for quantifying the long-term balance of hydropower production and aquatic ecosystems degradation in Swiss Alpine rivers;
  2. To address explicitly the issue of dynamic environmental flow (DEF) releases and their benefits from hydrological, geomorphological, ecological viewpoints;
  3. To provide exemplary case studies on long-term assessment of hydropower potential, which explicitly account for river ecosystems;
  4. To develop a prototype framework to model the complexity of hydropower systems and their management to maximize production while preserving river ecosystems.

More details about the project are available

The ESC member responsible for this project is Prof. Dr. Paolo Burlando, Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources Management.

Prof. Dr. Peter Molnár, Professor of Fluvial Systems, is also involved in this project.

The research priorities of the Hydrology and Water Resources Management Chair concentrate on understanding and modelling the physical processes of the hydrological cycle, as well as the effects of the anthropogenic forcing on hydrology and water resources.