Author(s): Anton J. Schleiss; Mário J. Franca; Carmelo Juez; Giovanni De Cesare
Keywords: Dams; mitigation measures; reservoirs; reservoir sedimentation; sediment production; sediment storage; sediment transport; sustainability
Abstract: Artificial water storage, originated by the construction of dams, is essential for the sustainable health and welfare of civilizations since it supplies water for human consumption, irrigation and energy production. Furthermore, dam reservoirs are used for recreation, navigation and they provide safety in the downstream valleys against extreme flood events and droughts. All reservoirs are subjected to sedimentation which, without adequate prevention and mitigation counter-measures, threatens their sustainability. As well as the evident loss of storage capacity, the adequate and safe operation of water intakes and bottom outlets belonging to the vital outlet structures can be affected by the deposition of sediments in the reservoir. This Vision Paper first addresses the state-of-the-art and the main scientific advances in terms of prevention and mitigation measures against sedimentation in reservoirs. Then, the main research challenges, which result from the assessment of what are the remaining open questions, are pointed out. The emerging research methodologies to study sedimentation processes are also discussed.