08 August 2017
Experts from Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre (LEGMC), Lithuanian Energy Institute and Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment BIOR (BIOR) participated in a 3-week training seminar in Saldus from 3rd to 21th July . Under the leadership of Italian and Polish scientists, theoretical training on correct determination of ecological flow rate was held, as well as assessment of the impact of small hydroelectric power plants (HPP) on the ecological quality of waters. The workshop also included practical training in habitat mapping and recognition of river geomorphological units as well as in modeling ecological flow rates. Training for practical activities took place in the rivers of Venta River basin – Imula, Ciecere, Šķēde and Ēda.
Video from training seminar:
Determination of ecological flow rate is essential for the operation of small HPP, in order to minimize impact to environment, including fish. Currently, water flow (guaranteed or ecological) provided by small HPPs is calculated on the basis of statistical hydrological data, without considering the water ecosystem. Thus, this flow rate is not sufficient for efficient fish migration and survival. During summer season, the amount of water in the river downstream HPP is insufficient, leaving part of river bed without water.
Within ECOFLOW project, experts have gained new knowledge on how to make such calculations correctly, taking into account not only hydrological but also environmental needs. In the future, an appropriate methodology for calculating ecological flow rate will be developed for Latvia and Lithuania, and proposals for necessary legislative changes will be presented.
This article has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of LEGMC and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.
Last updated: 15.10.2018 19:51