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Reservoir Sedimentation and Sustainable Management (IAHR_3_S1)

Convenors: Kamal El Kadi Abderrezzak (EDF), Ismail Albayrak (ETH Zurich), Silke, Wieprecht (University Stuttgart), Eddy J. Langendoen (USDA)


Reservoirs formed by dams are a key part of water resources development, serving various purposes such as flood and drought control, water supply, hydropower, irrigation and inland navigation. Despite these amenities, dam reservoirs have had detrimental morphological and environmental impacts on river systems, both upstream and downstream of dams, arising from the regulation of the flow regime and the trapping of sediments. Sedimentation, leading to the loss of the storage capacity of reservoirs, is a serious and growing problem worldwide. Indeed, the global storage capacity of reservoirs is still declining due to sedimentation, exacerbated by climate change and deforestations. Effective strategies to counter sedimentation are key to the sustainable use of reservoirs, as renewable resources, for the benefit of current and future generations. Different techniques are used to manage sedimentation in reservoirs, such as reducing sediment yields into reservoirs from the upstream watershed, passing sediment through or around the reservoir, removing deposited sediments from the reservoir, or implementing adaptive solutions. Each strategy has advantages and limitations, and the economic analysis of reservoir sedimentation management needs to compare costs and benefits associated with each technique. This special session aims at sharing knowledge and tools for designing and applying common or innovative effective strategies for managing sediments in reservoirs, based on experience in research projects  and practical applications. We solicit papers from researchers, dam operators, consultants, and decision makers to 1) present bad and good experiences in field deployment of management strategies, 2) to share tools and technology for designing the best solution, and 3) present multidisciplinary projects for successful management of reservoir sedimentation.