Use of Decision Theory in Reservoir Operation

by Samuel O. Russell, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 6, Pg. 809-817

Document Type: Journal Paper


The paper presents a method for deciding how best to operate a multipurpose reservoir which is subject to conflicting demands. The method is based on decision theory. It can be used to derive reservoir rule curves when flow forecasts are not available or to provide guidance in real time on what is best to do when forecast information is available. Because of the complexity of reservoir operation, decision theory could not be applied directly. A special bridge between theory and practice had to be devised. The procedure is illustrated by application to Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, a lake which is operated as a reservoir for both flood control and storage of water for irrigation purposes.

Subject Headings: Reservoirs | Forecasting | Lakes | Water storage | Curvature | Flow duration | Bridges | Floods | British Columbia | Canada

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