Evaporation suppression and energy balance of water reservoirs covered with self-assembling floating elements

Aminzadeh, Milad; Lehmann, Peter; Or, Dani

The growing pressure on natural freshwater resources and the projected climate variability are expected to increase the need for water storage during rainy periods. Evaporative losses present a challenge for the efficiency of water storage in reservoirs, especially in arid regions with chronic water shortages. Among the available methods for suppressing evaporative losses, self-assembling floating elements offer a simple and scalable solution, especially for small reservoirs. The use of floating elements has often been empirically based; we thus seek a framework for systematic consideration of floating element properties, local climate and reservoir conditions to better predict evaporative loss, energy balance and heat fluxes from covered water reservoirs. We linked the energy balance of the water column with energy considerations of the floating elements. Results suggest significant suppression of evaporative losses from covered reservoirs in which incoming radiative energy is partitioned to sensible and long wave fluxes that reduce latent heat flux and thus increase the Bowen ratio over covered water reservoirs. Model findings were consistent with laboratory-scale observations using an uncovered and covered small basin. The study offers a physically based framework for testing design scenarios in terms of evaporation suppression efficiency for various climatic conditions; it hence strengthens the science in the basis of this important water resource conservation strategy.

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Aminzadeh, Milad / Lehmann, Peter / Or, Dani: Evaporation suppression and energy balance of water reservoirs covered with self-assembling floating elements. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Milad Aminzadeh et al.

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