Reservoir Management in Potomac River Basin

by Richard N. Palmer, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Washington, Seattle, Wash.,
James A. Smith, Hydrologist; Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, Rockville, MD,
Jared L. Cohon, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Geography and Environmental Engrg., Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, Md.,
Charles S. ReVelle, Prof.; Dept. of Geography and Environmental Engrg. Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, Md.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 47-66

Document Type: Journal Paper


Techniques for determining the yield of multireservoir water supply systems have been developed and applied to the system that serves the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (WMA). This system is composed of the Potomac and Patuxent River Basins and five reservoirs which lie in these basins. The yield of each reservoir in the system was determined using simulation models. Simulation and linear programming models were developed to determine the yield of the reservoir system when operated jointly with the Potomac River. Linear programming models were developed which incorporated projected water demands and limitations on the distribution and treatment capacities of the agencies that supply water to the WMA. These models were used to determine the regional demand that can be met. A multiobjective analysis was made of the potential tradeoffs between conflicting water uses on the basin. The models indicate that the yield which results from the proper joint operation of the system is significantly greater than the yield of the individual components of the system.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic models | Reservoirs | Basins | Simulation models | Water treatment | Water supply systems | Asphalts | Rivers and streams | Washington | United States | Potomac River

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