Hydropower, Water Quality and Waste Discharge

by Shoou-Yuh Chang, North Carolina A&T State Univ, Greensboro, United States,
Shu-Liang Liaw, North Carolina A&T State Univ, Greensboro, United States,
Steven F. Railsback, North Carolina A&T State Univ, Greensboro, United States,
Michael J. Sale, North Carolina A&T State Univ, Greensboro, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions

Abstract: Development of multiple hydroelectric projects on large river systems can result in potential reductions in dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations. Municipalities along the Ohio River basin have to discharge organic waste into the river. If the existing level of water quality has to be maintained, the generation of hydroelectric power is in direct conflict or competition with the city growth. The objective of this study is to examine tradeoffs between generation of hydroelectricity and urban development along the upper Ohio River basin. The results indicate that, under the critical flow condition, hydropower generation along the Ohio River basin is sensitive to the BOD discharge. A 5% BOD loading increase will cause a 3% reduction of hydropower generation. Further, more hydropower can be generated by relaxing the DO standard than by removing the additional BOD from the discharger.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Water discharge | Water quality | Rivers and streams | Waste management | Dissolved oxygen | Basins | Power plants | Municipal wastes | Ohio River

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