On April 1st, 2017 Lithuanian Energy Institute together with Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre and Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment started the project Ecological flow estimation in Latvian-Lithuanian trans-boundary river basins.
Flow regime regulation is one of the most significant pressures in Latvian-Lithuanian (LV-LT) trans-boundary river basins, where about 100 small HPP are installed and flow regime modifications are made. Hydrological regime regulation for hydropower production dramatically impacts the biotic composition, supports production and sustainability of ecosystems. However estimations of ecological flow (E-Flow) have been carried out neither in LV, nor in LT. The overall objective of the project is to establish cooperation among the project partners in order to encourage development of new methodology for estimation of E–Flow, in compliance with standards and goals for protected areas under the WFD, Birds and Habitats Directive in Latvia-Lithuania border region.
The main project outputs are the Methodology for E-Flow estimation and Recommendations for the amendment to national water legislations in order to ensure effective implementation of E-Flow, binding the strategic planning for water uses and the permitting process. On Guidance document Nr. 31 “Ecological flows in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive” based approach is used for the identification of insufficient water flow downstream HPPs and E-Flow estimation in LV-LT trans-boundary rivers. This approach includes in-situ measurements and modelling. LV-LT new common activities are designation of habitat changes due to flow regulation and planning of ecological status improving by E-Flow control.
1. Assessment of influence of HPP on water quality and quantity:
- review of water quality and quantity, analysis of EU and national legislation related with E-flow state,
- creation of long-term hydrological and morphological data base for selected case studies within Venta and Lielupe RBDs,
- development of a list of specific species for rivers within Venta and Lielupe RBDs,
- evaluation of habitat changes and estimation of minimum E-flow on the base of meso-scale habitat simulation model.
2. Participation in training course of habitat modelling in meso-scale habitat simulation model (MesoHABSIM).
3. First habitat survey, modelling and E-flow estimation of minimum e-flow for regulated rivers within Venta RBD.
4. Second habitat survey, modelling and E-flow estimation of minimum e-flow for regulated rivers within Lielupe RBD.
5. Reports preparation (training Course, First and second habitat surveys, progress and final).
6. Development of new methodology for minimum E-flow estimation and recommendations for national water legislations.
Project No.: LLI-249
Project budget: 391 245 EUR (LEI part: 149 558 EUR)
Project is financed by: Latvian–Lithuanian cross-border cooperation Programme 2014–2020. http://www.latlit.eu/
Coordinator: Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre (LGVMC) (Latvijas Vides, ģeoloģijas un meteoroloģijas centrs), Latvia
- Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI), Lithuania
- Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment (BIOR) (Pārtikas drošības, dzīvnieku veselības un vides zinātniskais institūts), Latvia