The temporal variations of natural flows are essential elements for preserving the ecological health of a river which are addressed in this paper by the environmental flow schemes that incorporate the intra-annual and interannual variability of the natural flow regime. We present an optimization framework to find the Pareto-optimal solutions for various flow schemes. The proposed framework integrates (1) the range of variability approach for evaluating the hydrologic alterations; (2) the standardized precipitation index approach for establishing the variation criteria for the wet, normal, and dry years; (3) a weir operation model for simulating the system of flows; and (4) a multiobjective optimization genetic algorithm for search of the Pareto-optimal solutions. The proposed framework is applied to the Kaoping diversion weir in Taiwan. The results reveal that the time-varying schemes incorporating the intra-annual variability in the environmental flow prescriptions promote the ecosystem and human needs fitness. Incorporation of the interannual flow variability using different criteria established for three types of water year further promotes both fitnesses. The merit of incorporating the interannual variability may be superimposed on that of incorporating only the intra-annual flow variability. The Pareto-optimal solutions searched with a limited range of flows replicate satisfactorily those obtained with a full search range. The limited-range Pareto front may be used as a surrogate of the full-range one if feasible prescriptions are to be found among the regular flows.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology