Water Science and Engineering 2008, 1(2) 66-75  DOI:   10.3882/j.issn.1674-2370.2008.02.007   ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV

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runoff adjustment
hydroelectric project
self-purification capacity
fluvial process
water environmental capacity
Sun Dongpo
Lu Ruili
Song Yongjun
Yan Jun
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Impact of hydroelectric projects on river environment: Analysis of water quality changes in Ningxia Reach of Yellow River

Sun Dongpo*1, Lu Ruili2, Song Yongjun1, Yan Jun1

1. Faculty of Water Conservancy Engineering, North China University of Water Conservancy and Electric Power, Zhengzhou 450011, P. R. China
2. School of Civil Engineering and Water Conservancy, Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, P. R. China


In this paper, the relationship between hydroelectric projects and the river environment is analyzed. Recently, the large-scale regulation of runoff by large hydroelectric projects in the Ningxia Reach of the Yellow River has altered natural runoff processes, causing an increase in the probability of low discharge and an overall adjustment of riverbed evolution and river characteristics. During low-flow years, the combined effects of these two changes can weaken the self-purification capacity and reduce the water environmental capacity of the river. This is one of the main reasons for the recent decrease of water quality in the Ningxia Reach. This research shows that it is necessary to implement river training projects to maintain stable flow paths, not only for adjusting river regimes and for flood control, but also for increasing the self-purification capacity and the water environmental capacity of the river. Methods and proposals for coordinating the operation of hydroelectric projects with the protection of the river environment are presented in the interest of promoting sustainable development.

Keywords runoff adjustment   hydroelectric project   self-purification capacity   fluvial process   water environmental capacity  
Received 2008-03-05 Revised 2008-06-02 Online:  
DOI: 10.3882/j.issn.1674-2370.2008.02.007
Corresponding Authors: Sun Dongpo*
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