Problems with the use of habitat methods for the development of a hydrological formula allowing the determination of the environmental flow
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Paweł Madej   

Submission date: 2021-09-30
Final revision date: 2021-12-09
Acceptance date: 2021-12-09
Publication date: 2022-01-05
Acta Sci. Pol. Formatio Circumiectus 2021;20(2):41–54
  • Analysis of the variability of the hydrological regime in abiotic and biotic types of watercourses.
  • Diagnosis of problems related to the use of the results of habitat studies on a micro scale to build simple hydrological formulas for use at the national level.
Aim of the study:
The aim of the article is to discuss the idea of using the biotic classification of watercourses and habitat methods to develop simplified hydrological formulas, enabling the determination of environmental flows. Adjustment of such a solution to the hydrological regime of watercourses and the practical possibilities of implementing the formulas are investigated.

Material and methods:
The analysis used research material from two projects aimed at developing a method for determining environmental flows in Poland and measurement data of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. As a basis for the comparison of the variability of flows in one type of watercourse, measurement data of the IMWM was used for 345 water gauges, for which the relation of relation of mean annual low flows to mean annual flows was compared. To complete the above analysis, a comparison of the time distribution of low flows during the year was made for 34 research sections and the assessment of the density of the measurement network for individual types of watercourses.

Results and conclusions:
Large diversification of the mean to low flow relation and large differences in the variability of low flows during the year within one type of watercourse show that the application of the hydrological formula averaging this differentiation may lead to significant overstatements or underruns of the value of the environmental flow on the watercourses deviating from the mean for the type of watercourse. Formulas based on annual characteristics may give significantly different values from those based on seasonal characteristics.