عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Hydrological variability is of great importance for water resources management. Analyzing the instream environmental flow demand by coupling the hydrological cycle and the hydrodynamic process with aquatic ecological processes at a watershed scale remains one of the most important yet most difficult issues. Ecological water demand (environmental flow) refers to the typical—intra-annual and inter-annual natural flow regime variability—which describes the quality, quantity, and timing of flow discharge required to preserve the ecosystem and sustain essential services upon which human livelihoods and well-being depend. Therefore, ecological water demand (EWD) should be considered as a constraint in water resource planning and management.
Materials and Methods: Numerous methods and frameworks have been developed for establishing ecological water demand at regulated rivers. Hydrologically-based ecological water demand methods, because of their simplicity, data availability, and other economic and social aspects, remain the most applied ones. A suitable range of discharges environmental flow Dinavar River was estimated using advocate statistical analysis of hydrological methods Tennant, Annual Distribution Method, and Texas, coupled with habitat suitability model using the program River2D to natural flow variability need. River2D is a two-dimensional, depth-averaged hydrodynamic and fish habitat model widely used in environmental flow assessment studies. A detailed digital model of the river channel and its surrounding area was developed, including all the morphological characteristics of the river channel and its various sandy islets. Data collection was performed through GIS/GPS mapping surveys, hydro-morphological measurements (water depth, flow, substratum type, etc.), and electrofishing samplings at a microhabitat scale under different discharge conditions. Several different steady-state hydraulic simulations were conducted under typical low flow conditions, producing water depth and water velocity (direction and magnitude) maps for each discharge scenario, while results were verified with the use of field measurements. In the next step, River2D was used for the fish habitat modeling of the study area, with the application of fish preference curves developed specifically for the study area. Finally, the fish habitat modeling was conducted for the Capoeta trutta (Heckel, 1843) species, divided into two life groups, forced under the flow conditions. Also, the suitable level of ecological water demand and crucial values with different flow frequencies were analyzed, including water level, water surface width, and Weighted Usable Area.
Results and Discussion: Results show that high environmental flow releases did not necessarily provide the highest habitat availability and suitability at all seasons and fish life-stages. The adult life stage resulted in being more vulnerable to water diversion, particularly during the spring season. Shallow-water hydromorphological units suffered the highest habitat loss. Some of the environmental flow methods demonstrated inconsistent results over seasons and fish life-stages by either allowing for higher environmental flow releases. Also, the Weighted Usable Area -Discharge curve was calculated with the suitability index in medium flow conditions. From the result, the Weighted Usable Area is changed according to flowrate. In the flowrate- Weighted Usable Area/A graph, ecological flow can be determined at 1.38 m3/s for Capoeta trutta (Heckel, 1843) species. Ecological flows were calculated in the range 0.17–3.71 m3/s as the required discharge, which assures the welfare and sustainability of protected fish species populations. It was also noticed that low flow months (June to November) required more proportions of mean monthly flow than high flow months (December to May). When compared with flow-duration analysis, it is demonstrative that simulation results fitted EWD considering the quantity of available habitat for fish species. Also, the results of the study indicated that monthly EWD had an increasing trend during the flood season and a decreasing trend during the non-flood season in three sections at different suitable levels. With the increase of suitable levels, the range of EWD in the three sections also increased. The EWD and crucial values were the lowest in April with the smallest range and were the highest from June to October.
Conclusion: The major finding of this research is that the estimated Suitable Range of Discharges could better address environmental water requirements, rather than simply allocating single value minimum ecological flows. Results reveal that the ecohydraulic modeling of river basins should be considered as an indispensable component in sustainable water resources.