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Zernez summer school, September 2018

The project team and several invited guests met for a week in the Engadine region of Switzerland, staying in the small town of Zernez in the headwaters of the Inn river. The week was expertly planned and led by Chris Robinson and Gabriele Consoli from EAWAG in Zurich.

Day 1 consisted of a series of talks about the Swiss National Park (Rüdi Haller, SNP), the legal basis of residual flows in Switzerland (Rémy Estoppey, BAFU), the Colorado River floods program (Ted Melis, USGS), E-flows from a reservoir owners perspective (Mark Tinsdeall, Yorkshire Water), flood flow interactiosn with sediments and vegetation (Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva, UNIGE), experimental flood from Swiss hydropower dams (Michael Döring, ZHAW) and the Spöl River 20 year flood program (Chris Robinson, EAWAG). In the afternoon, all participants walked to the lower Spöl river for a demonstration of drones and to collect baseline hydromorphology data ahead of a planned flood event.

Day 2 saw the ESRs being trained to collect data before-during and after a 30m3s-1 flow release from the Ova Spin reservoir. The flood duration was approximately 8h. A wide array of measurements were taken to characterise the flood effects: sediment erosion and deposition, large wood movement, benthic invertebrate responses, invertebrate and seston drift, microbial biofilms, habitat complexity mapping, water chemistry, water temperature and sediment respiration.

On day 3, the team were treated to a tour led by Engadiner Kraftwerk staff, through the Punt da Gall reservoir at the head of the Upper Spöl River, and then hiked along the 6km of the river with a guided tour through the Swiss National Park led by Rüdi Haller.

Day 4 involved further sampling of the lower Spöl River to collect further datasets, then day 5 was devoted to a wrap up discussion session and discussion of general project business.







This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 765553