Natural streamflow regime alterations: Damming of the Piave river basin (Italy)
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A novel approach is proposed to estimate the natural streamflow regime of a river and to assess the extent of the alterations induced by dam operation related to anthropogenic (e.g., agricultural, hydropower) water uses in engineered river basins. The method consists in the comparison between the seasonal probability density function (pdf) of observed streamflows and the purportedly natural streamflow pdf obtained by a recently proposed and validated probabilistic model. The model employs a minimum of landscape and climate parameters and unequivocally separates the effects of anthropogenic regulations from those produced by hydroclimatic fluctuations. The approach is applied to evaluate the extent of the alterations of intra-annual streamflow variability in a highly engineered alpine catchment of north-eastern Italy, the Piave river. Streamflows observed downstream of the regulation devices in the Piave catchment are found to exhibit smaller means/modes, larger coefficients of variation, and more pronounced peaks than the flows that would be observed in the absence of anthropogenic regulation, suggesting that the anthropogenic disturbance leads to remarkable reductions of river flows, with an increase of the streamflow variability and of the frequency of preferential states far from the mean. Some structural limitations of management approaches based on minimum streamflow requirements (widely used to guide water policies) as opposed to criteria based on whole distributions are also discussed. Copyright © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1029/2009WR008523
Publication InfoBotter, G; Basso, S; Porporato, A; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I; & Rinaldo, A (2010). Natural streamflow regime alterations: Damming of the Piave river basin (Italy). Water Resources Research, 46(6). pp. W06522. 10.1029/2009WR008523. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/4049.
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Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Amilcare Porporato earned a Master Degree in Civil Engineering (summa cum laude) in 1992 and his Ph.D. in 1996 from Polytechnic of Turin. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Hydraulics of the Polytechnic of Turin, and he moved to Duke University in 2003, where he is now Full Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a secondary appointment with the Nicholas School of the Environment. In June 1996, Porporato received the Arturo Parisatti
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