Easily-calculated metrics describing potential impacts of dams are often used as preliminary investigations, or in analyses describing hydrologic impact over large scales and involving many dams. However, common dam impact metrics overwhelmingly reflect effects of medium to large reservoirs. Indicators applied to describe a dam’s capacity to alter downstream river flows typically consider reservoir storage as a sole mechanism of hydrologic impact. Herein, metrics of hydraulic size are proposed to encompass potential impacts related to both storage and diversion of water. Hydrologic effect due to storage and diversion computed across a sample of diversion and non-diversion dams exemplifies that hydrologic alteration related to diversion may be significant, even where storage-based indicators suggest that potential for hydrologic impact is low. As compared to metrics based on storage alone, the proposed metrics offer a more flexible and inclusive description of hydrologic impact and one which is more universally applicable to dams of variable design and purpose.
Number of Pages
International Journal of Hydrology
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Kibler, Kelly M., "The Hydraulic Size Of A Dam: A Metric Indicating Potential Hydrologic Impact For Storage And Diversion" (2017). Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 622.