Flood Control Release Optimization using Methods from Calculus

by William C. Hughes, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Univ. of Colorado, Denver, CO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 5, Pg. 691-704

Document Type: Journal Paper


The operation of a flood control reservoir, or network of reservoirs, involves establishing a balance between the risk of immediate flooding and the risk of future flooding attributable to a loss of flood control capacity due to storage. A model describing this operation was developed using a bounded cost function which relates the magnitude of reservoir releases in a given time period, with both direct flood damage costs, and with those costs associated with foregone flood control capability due to storage. Incorporated in the cost function are storage and flow functions which described the reservoir network as a single reservoir, parallel network, series network or combination. Methods from calculus are used to determine the reservoir release schedule which minimizes the cost function and establishes an optimum reservoir operation.

Subject Headings: Reservoirs | Water storage | Floods | Optimization models | Risk management | Hydrologic models | Damage (structural) | Scheduling

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