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Adapting fishways to hydrological and climatic uncertainty


Current society needs a large volume of fresh water to keep its present lifestyle. This has led to the massive installation of barriers in rivers, causing fragmentation of habitats and ecological alteration of freshwater systems. Fragmentation specially affects fish, as they require different environments to complete their life cycles. Stepped fishways are the most extended solution to ensure fish movements. Unfortunately, their efficiency is sensitive to the equilibrium between biological and hydraulic aspects, which, is often far from acceptable. The natural variability of rivers modifies the hydraulic conditions within fishways, affecting the biological responses and their principal objective: allow the free movement of fish. This research project aims to (1) assess the effect of hydrological variability in stepped fishways and for this (2) to develop a technological and methodological framework to monitor fishways performance in real time which combines fish biology, hydraulics and sensor networks. This will allow creating a new generation of smart fishways capable of self-deciding their optimal configuration when faced to hydrological uncertainty.
The study of the effect of variability will allow to adapt and propose specific solutions to some of the challenges that need to be faced the coming years, such us accomplish the requirements or Water Framework (2000/60/EC), Habitats (1992/43/EEC) or Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), and will help to define solutions and actuation plans for the possible modifications in the water cycle produced by the climatic change, in line with EU Adaptation Strategy.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-CAR - CAR – Career Restart panel


Plaza Santa Cruz 8 Palacio De Santa Cruz
47002 Valladolid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 160 932,48