Use of Runoff Forecasting in Reservoir Operations

by Thomas T. Wilson, Jr., Sr. Engr.; Salt River Proj., Phoenix, AZ,
Edib Kirdar, (M.ASCE), Sr. Engr.; Salt River Proj., Phoenix, AZ,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 3, Pg. 299-308

Document Type: Journal Paper


The application of runoff forecasting to the operation of the Salt River Project reservoir system has been emphasized since the late 1930's. This system consists of six dams, four of which are used for hydroelectric generation, with an impoundment capacity of more than 2,000,000 acre-ft. The system also provides water for irrigation, municipal, and industrial use in part of Central Arizona. During 1967, updated and improved forecast equations were produced from 18 yrs of hydrologic records using multiple regression analysis. Forecasts made with these equations were utilized during the runoff seasons of 1967–1968 and 1968–1969. They provided valuable decision data for spill release in 1968 and for allocation of additional water to the users in 1969. Further refinement of the forecasting techniques, including long and short range forecasts as well as telemetered watershed information, are planned for the future.

Subject Headings: Runoff | Forecasting | Reservoirs | Municipal water | Regression analysis | Dams | Hydro power | Water storage | Arizona | United States

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