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Linking environmental flows to sediment dynamics

De Jalón, Diego García; Bussettini, Martina; Rinaldi, Massimo; Grant, Gordon; Friberg, Nikolai; Cowx, Ian G.; Magdaleno, Fernando; Buijse, Tom


Diego García De Jalón

Martina Bussettini

Massimo Rinaldi

Gordon Grant

Nikolai Friberg

Ian G. Cowx

Fernando Magdaleno

Tom Buijse


© 2017 The Authors. This is a policy discussion paper aimed at addressing possible alternative approaches for environmental flows (e- Flows) assessment and identification within the context of best strategies for fluvial restoration. We focus on dammed rivers in Mediterranean regions. Fluvial species and their ecological integrity are the result of their evolutionary adaptation to river habitats. Flowingwater is themain driver for development and maintenance of these habitats,which is why e-Flows are needed where societal demands are depleting water resources. Fluvial habitats are also shaped by the combined interaction ofwater, sediments,woody/organicmaterial, and riparian vegetation.Water abstraction, flowregulation by dams, gravel pits or siltation by fine sediments eroded fromhillslopes are pressures that can disturb interactions among water, sediments, and other constituents that create the habitats needed by fluvial communities. Present e-Flow design criteria are based only on water flow requirements. Here we argue that sediment dynamics need to be considered when specifying instream flows, thereby expanding the environmental objectives and definition of e-Flows to include sediments (extended e-Flows). To this aim, a hydromorphological framework for e-Flows assessment and identification of best strategies for fluvial restoration, including the context of rivers regulated by large dams, is presented.


De Jalón, D. G., Bussettini, M., Rinaldi, M., Grant, G., Friberg, N., Cowx, I. G., …Buijse, T. (2017). Linking environmental flows to sediment dynamics. Water policy : official journal of the World Water Council, 19(2), 358-375.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 15, 2016
Online Publication Date Dec 5, 2016
Publication Date Apr 1, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 30, 2018
Journal Water Policy
Print ISSN 1366-7017
Electronic ISSN 1996-9759
Publisher IWA Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 358-375
Keywords Ecological status; Environmental flows (e-Flows); Flow regulation; Hydromorphology (HYMO); Large dam; River management; Sediments
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Copyright Statement
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), which<br /> permits copying, adaptation and redistribution for non-commercial purposes, provided the contribution is distributed under the same<br /> licence as the original, and the original work is properly cited (

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