Use of Stochastic Hydrology in Reservoir Operation

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by D. K. Frevert, US Bureau of Reclamation, Lakewood, CO, USA,
M. S. Cowan, US Bureau of Reclamation, Lakewood, CO, USA,
W. L. Lane, US Bureau of Reclamation, Lakewood, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Forum '86: World Water Issues in Evolution

Abstract: The Bureau of Reclamation is incorporating stochastic traces to provide a broader basis for management decisions during drought periods for the Central Valley Project in California. A series of twenty 1,000-year stochastic traces was generated using Reclamation's LAST (Lane's Applied Stochastic Techniques) computer package and the historically based natural flows from the Sacramento River Basin. Each trace was compared to the historically based natural flow sequence. The traces were analyzed by use of a computer program which counted the number of occurrences of a flow below a specified level over 1- through 10-year intervals. Results for the twenty 1,000-year traces provided a much more reliable estimate of nonexceedance probabilities for these low flows than might have been obtained by simply plotting the computed natural flows corresponding to the historic record itself.

Subject Headings: Hydrology | Stochastic processes | Reservoirs | Project management | Low flow | Droughts | Management methods | Bureau of Reclamation | North America | California | United States | Sacramento

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