Determination of the Environmental Flow Requirements for the SefidRud River, IRAN

Document Type : Research Article


1 Former MSc Student of Water Resources Engineering, Department of Irrigation and Reclamation Engineering, University of Tehran

2 Professor of Irrigation and Reclamation Engineering Department. University of Tehran

3 Department of Irrigation and Reclamation Engineering, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


Environmental Flows describes the timing, quality, and quantity of water flows required to sustain ecosystems, human well-being and livelihoods that depend upon them. A review of the present status of environmental flow methodologies revealed the existence of 4 differentiated methodologies. The main purpose of this paper is to assess common methods of environmental flow requirements. According to the standards of the Ministry of Energy of Iran, Tennant introduced as the base method for determining the environmental flows. This method together with wetted perimeter method with three different ideas is applied to the SefidRud. Also, the habitat simulation method, which is a part of the ecological method, is applied to SefidRud River too. Huso Huso fish was chosen as the species river target in this research study. The advantages and limitations of the above mentioned methods are presented as a part of results. 20% and 30% of the annual average flows are suggested for maintaining river health in poor and good conditions, respectively. The combined simulation method habitats and the maximum curvature of the wetted perimeter are recommended as a native method for SefidRud River to determine the minimum ecological flow and improve the ecosystem of the studied river.


Main Subjects

[1]. Naiman R J, Bunn SE, Nilsson C, Petts GE, Pinay G, Thompson LC. Legitimizing fluvial systems as users of water: an overview. Environmental Management. 2002; 30:455-467.
[2]. Arthington A. Saving Rivers in the Third Millennium. Ecology and the Environment Book; 2012.
[3]. Dunbar MJ, Acreman MC, Gustard A, Elliott CRN. Overseas Approaches to Setting River Flow Objectives; 1998.
[4]. Acreman M, Dunbar MJ. Defining environmental river flow requirements- a review. J. Hydrology and Earth system Sciences. 2004; 8(5): 861-876.
[5]. Liu J, Liu Q, Yang H. Assessing water scarcity by simultaneously considering environmental flow requirements, water quantity, and water quality. Ecological Indicators. 2016; 60: 434-441.
[6]. Tharme RE. A global persprctive on environmental flow assessment: emerging trends in the development and application of environmental flow methodologies for rivers. Published online in Wiley InterScience.  2003; 19:397-441.
[7]. Richter BD, Baumgartner JV, Wigington R, Braun DP. How much water does a river need. Freshwater Biology. 1997; 37: 231-249.
[8]. Office of Standard and Technical Criteria. Planning and Budget Organization of Iran. Drinking Water Standards. Tehran; 1992. (In Persian)
[9]. Tharme RE, King JM. Development of the Building Block Methodology for Instream Flow Assessment, and Supporting Research on the Effects of the Different magnitude Flows on Riverine Ecosystems. Water Research Commission; 1998.
[10].            Smakhtin VU, Revenga C, Doll P. A pilot Global Assessment of Environment Water Requirement and Scarcity. International water Resources Association. 2004; 307-317.
[11].            Mann JL. Instream flow methodologies: An evaluation of the Tennant method for higher gradient streams in the national forest system lands in the western US. Master Thesis. Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Watershed Stewardship,colorado state university, Colorado; 2006. 143 p.
[12].            Watt SP. A methodology for environmental protection of Ontario watercourses with respect to the permit to take water program; 2007. 134p.
[13].            Zolfaghari S, Ghanbarpour M, Habibnejad M, Afkhami M. Evaluation and assessment of environmental flow using hydrological methods (Case study: Shadegan wetland). Journal of Watershed Management Science and Engineering. 2009; 3(8): 67-70. (in Persian)
[14].            Poff N, Richter B, Arthington A, Bunn S, Naiman R, Kendy E, et al. The ecological li, its of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA), A new framework for developing regional environmental flow standards. J. Freshwater Biol. 2010; 55(1): 147-170.
[15].            Jushi KD, Jha DN, Alam A, Srivastava SK, Kumar V, Sharma AP. Environmental Flow requirements of river sone: impact of low discharge on fisheries. Current Science. 2014; 107(3): 478.
[16].            Mostafavi S, Yasi M. Evaluation of Environmental Flowsin Rivers Using Hydrological Methods (case study: The Barandozchi River- Urmia Lake Basin). J. water Soil. 2015;  29(5), 1219-1231. (in Persian)
[17].            Bayat S, Ebrahimi K., Assessment of Different Environmental Flow Methods. 2th National Iraninan Conference on Hydrology, Shahrekord, Iran, 2017. (in Persian)
[18].            Orth DJ, Maughan OE. Evaluation of the “Montana Method” for recommending instream flows in Oklahoma streams. Pro. Okla. Acad. Sci. 1981; 61:62-66.
[19].            Tennant DL. Instream  flow  regimes  for  fish,  wildlife,  recreation  and environmental resources. Instream  Flow  Needs. Volume  II. American Fisheries Society. Bethesda MD. 1976; 359-373.
[20].            King JM, Tharme RE, Villiers DE. Environmental flow assessments for  rivers:  manual  for  the  Building  Block  Methodology.  Water  Research  Commission Technology
Transfer Report No. TT131/00. Pretoria, South Africa; 2003.
[21].            Peres DJ, Cancelliere A, Environmental Flow Assessment Based on Different Metrics of Hydrological Alteration. Water Resources Management. 2016; 30(15).
[22].            Annear TC, Conder AL. Relative bias of Several fisheries instream flow methods. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 1984; 4(4B): 531-539.
[23].            Poff NL, Allan JD, Bain MB, Kar JR, Prestegaard  kl. The  natural  flow regime: a paradigm  for river conservation and restoration. Bio science, 1997; 47: 769-784.
[24].            Gippel CJ, Stewardson MJ. Use of wetted perimeter in defining minimum environmental flows. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management. 1998; 14: 53-67.
[25].            Jowett  IG. Instream flow methods: a comparison of approaches. Regulated rivers. 1997; 13: 115-127.
[26].            Ahmadipour Z, Yasi M. Comparison of echo-hydrologic-hydraulic methods in the assessment of river ecological flow (Nazlou river, Urmia lake basin), Hydraulic science journal. 2015; 9(2): 69-82. (in Persian)
[27].            Amini M, Shokouhi A. Analytical solution Determination of the fracture point of the contaminated-discharge environment in the hydraulic method of determining the minimum environmental flow. "Journal of Hydraulic. 2015; 9(1): 27-43. (in Persian)
Volume 5, Issue 3
October 2018
Pages 753-762
  • Receive Date: 22 August 2017
  • Revise Date: 18 February 2018
  • Accept Date: 18 February 2018
  • First Publish Date: 23 September 2018
  • Publish Date: 23 September 2018