Group for Research in Decision Analysis


The Management of a Multi-Purpose Reservoir

This paper addresses the problem of determining the daily operating policy of a reservoir over a one-year period that satisfies conflicting objectives regarding hydropower generation, flood control, navigation, and recreational activities. This optimization problem is stochastic because streamflows are random and can be forecasted only a few days in advance. One of the difficulties involves taking streamflow persistence into account and, more specifically, the fact that there may be long periods of high and low flow. This is important because floods usually occur during long periods of high flow, while water shortages occur during long periods of low flow. The paper shows how to solve the problem with rule curves, Dynamic Programming, and simulation.

, 15 pages