The overall goal of the presented study is to evaluate potential sediment management techniques for hydropower plants (HHPs), both, from the technical and economical point of view. The chosen study case is the Banjë HPP in the Devoll river catchment in Albania. The Dam is currently under construction and starts operating in summer 2016.
Within this goal, the first purpose of the study was to calculate the spatial distribution of annual soil loss and the expected amount of sediment at Devoll River catchment using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model. The results illustrate a relatively high average annual soil loss rate over an area of about 3121 km2. Moreover, the sediment delivery ratio (SDR) was utilized for calculation of the total annual sediment yield. The annual sediment yield for the whole catchment was calculated by ArcGIS software and gave similar values as the measured sediment yield, which was determined by the average sediment yield of the years 1955–1983. The present investigation will also show in how far the gained results are effected by the quality and resolution of the input data.
The second purpose of the study was to find a technically feasible sediment management strategy that maximizes the economic benefits of the Banjë Dam by using the Reservoir Conservation (RESCON) model. The RESCON model examines and compares some sediment removal techniques (flushing, hydrosuction sediment removal system (HSRS), dredging, and trucking) both economically and technically. In addition, several sensitivity analyses were carried out in order to investigate the program for variable conditions.