An analytical and modelling approach to assess the impact of water transfers on reservoir water quality / Roberta Fornarelli

Roberta Fornarelli

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Abstract

    The management of water resources has historically revolved around human needs represented by water quantity objectives such as water supply, hydropower generation and irrigation. The integration of water quality objectives has only recently become central to the management of water systems, thus setting up new challenges to both researchers and decision-makers towards sustainable and integrated management of water resources. Inter-basin water transfer between reservoirs is a practice used worldwide to convey volumes of water in space and time, in order to guarantee water quantity services to the human community. Given the lack of studies that integrate the in-reservoir quality aspect into the management of water transfers, the objective of this study is to design a comprehensive methodology to thoroughly determine, quantify and manage the impacts on water quality of a quantity-oriented management of water transfers between two reservoirs. The whole study is based on the same reservoir system for which a detailed long-term dataset is available, however both the well-known and novel methodologies applied and developed in this research have the potential to be widely applicable to many different interconnected water systems. Intensive water transfers between two reservoirs significantly impacted nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton dynamics. Increasing nutrient loads and algal cell transport from the upstream to the downstream reservoir favoured the development of a phytoplankton community dominated by specific species tolerant to highly disturbed regimes, i.e., diatoms, that eventually caused high phytoplankton biovolume and chlorophyll a concentrations, and low phytoplankton diversity in the downstream reservoir.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2013

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