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Dam siting is the study of site selection, a branch of decision making, which has the characteristics of multidisciplinary integration, involving decision making, and coordination, geographic information science, computer science, etc. Siting decisions are constantly iterated and updated as the discipline evolves, and the dam siting process will inevitably face more challenges.
Water is a basic human need , playing important roles in facilitating geophysical cycles , regulating microclimates and runoff cycles , regulating microclimates and runoff cycles . Dams, on the other hand, regulate the hydrological environment of small areas at a small scale . Dams are man-made structures or naturally occurring barriers that span rivers and raise water levels by controlling or impeding the flow of water. They provide effective regulation of the spatial distribution pattern of water resources , for purposes of soil and water conservation, water supply, irrigation, aquaculture, flood control, and power generation . There are 58,713 registered dams in the world . The economic value of dams far outweighs their disadvantages and costs, and they play significant roles in regulating the distribution of water resources and balancing water systems and ecosystems .
Dams are the key for hydraulic projects, but not all dam construction processes are based on a scientific and systematic approach to decision making. Due to anthropogenic and political factors, the neglect of the technical aspects of the problem is still present . Reasonable siting solutions consider the balance between ecology and energy , reducing the associated damage to the environment ; poor siting can cause negative impacts, such as the risk of erosion leading to mudslides and landslides , serious impacts on runoff and sedimentation processes , and low or negative economic benefits . Therefore, studying the spatial distribution of reservoirs and making decisions on dam siting are key steps in water resource management.
In the light of the scientific literature, many researchers have analyzed the optimal location for dam construction. These studies have specific factors to determine the appropriate location and show variability in different purposes of dams, for example: irrigation, power generation, water supply, and flood control. A search of English literature in existing databases (excluding other languages) shows that there are many research results on dam siting, but few review papers are available, making it difficult to grasp the progress of the existing research and the future direction of development in this field.
Sustainable development is an important global issue, in which the development of clean energy makes an essential contribution. Existing studies include systematic reviews of wind and solar power plant siting , as well as a review of hydroelectric plant siting , which similarly involve the selection and trade-off of a large number of factors. Hydroelectric power generation is one of the important uses of dams, and a comprehensive review on dam siting is highly informative. Meanwhile, dam siting can provide a strong support for future systematic reviews of hydraulic power plant siting. In this review, the existing research results on dam siting were analyzed and discussed in terms of three aspects—siting methods, siting decision factors, and the influence of use and siting factors—with the intention of providing more systematic and scientific theoretical support for future dam siting projects.
2. Factors Influencing Dam Siting
2.1. Criteria for Dam Siting
2.2. The Influence of Dam Use on Criteria Selection
|RWH||<15%||low||near agricultural land||silt loam|
|check dams||<15%||less||barren, shrub, riverbed||sandy clay loam|
|percolation tank||<10%||high||barren, shrub||silt loam|
|farm ponds||<10%||moderate||barren, shrub||sandy clay loam|
|Criteria||Sub-Criteria||Irrigation||Hydropower||Water Supply||Flood Control||Total|
|drainage network order||5%||2%||5%||6%||18%|
|curve number grid||3%||-||5%||-||8%|
|distance to faults||-||18%||-||6%||24%|
|distance to lineaments||-||9%||-||4%||13%|
|distance to the streams/river||6%||-||8%||-||14%|
|water quality criteria||TDS||16%||-||16%||-||32%|
|socioeconomic||distance to roads||14%||2%||8%||4%||28%|
|distance to materials/facilities||-||12%||-||5%||17%|
|distance to cities/community||8%||6%||-||4%||18%|
|distance to villages||3%||-||12%||3%||18%|
|cost of construction||-||6%||-||3%||9%|
The entry is from 10.3390/w13152080
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