Author(s): Francesco Caponi; David Vetsch; Peter Molnar; Andrea Salvetti; Davide Vanzo
Keywords: No keywords
Abstract: Research and implementations of environmental flows (e-flows) have grown significantly in the last decades, aiming at identifying flow conditions for both sustainable ecosystems and human needs. In this context, the Canton Ticino (Switzerland) designed a 5-year modelling and monitoring program to design and assess the ecological benefits of novel e-flow regulations in several rivers in the region, based on a set of biological and physical indicators. In this work we present the workflow, challenges, and preliminary results of the hydrodynamic and habitat modelling part of the program. We investigated five reaches within the basin of Maggia river (Switzerland), having different hydro-morphological conditions, as representative of the entire basin. Two-dimensional hydrodynamic and habitat conditions were simulated for a range of discharges, spanning between existing and new e-flow conditions, for different target species. Eventually this study highlights some challenges in the modelling workflow but also proposes a repeatable, comprehensive workflow, applicable to other river basins for the design of ecological flows.