Author(s): Heller Philippe; Pellaud Marc; Bollaert Erik F. R.; Schleiss Anton J.; Schlaepfer Rodolphe
Linked Author(s): Anton J. Schleiss
Keywords: Hydropeaking; Hydraulic regime; Energy production; Flood protection; River ecology; Bed structure; Multi-purpose project; Decision making
Abstract: During the last centuries, many alpine rivers have been trained. They have been heavily canalized, essentially for flood safety, energy production and land recovering. Today these rivers suffer from different kinds of deficiencies. Due to climate changes and urban development, flood safety still is an issue. Artificial morphologies and hydraulic regimes have strongly impacted rivers ecology. Nowadays rivers have lost most of their integrity and connection to alluvial landscape. Reducing such deficiencies and at the same time developing energetic potential becomes possible by means of a multipurpose project. Nevertheless, such projects are highly complex. Hence, sound design and management requires a new holistic approach. An innovative approach based on a qualitative analysis of a multipurpose project was developed to assess its complexity. The proposed method integrates different simulation models. In this article, three models (hydraulic, energy and ecology) are presented. These models implement three scenarios (current state, reservoir and reservoir coupled to bed widening) being applied to a case study on the Swiss Upper Rhone River. The modelling results clearly point out the need for a reservoir to mitigate the hydraulic regime, combined with a river bed widening for structural improvement of an otherwise monotonous river. This allows increasing hydrosystem ecological integrity, energy production, flood protection and social development.