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Adapting fishways to hydrological and climatic uncertainty

Project description

Smart fishways adapt to changing river conditions

Modern society currently requires large volumes of fresh water. The result is the installation of river barriers, causing the fragmentation of habitats as well as changes to the ecology of freshwater systems. Stepped fishways can allow fish to move freely up rivers to complete their life cycle. However, the variability of rivers modifies the hydraulic conditions within fishways, affecting the free movement of fish. The EU-funded Smart Fishways project will address this challenge by assessing the effect of hydrological variability on stepped fishways and developing a technological and methodological framework to monitor fishways' performance in real time. By combining fish biology, hydraulics and sensor networks, a new generation of smart fishways will be created, capable of self-deciding their optimal configuration.

Objective

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.

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Coordinator

UNIVERSIDAD DE VALLADOLID
Net EU contribution
€ 160 932,48
Address
Plaza santa cruz 8 palacio de santa cruz
47002 Valladolid
Spain

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Region
Centro (ES) Castilla y León Valladolid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00