Decision Rules for Reservoir Releases

by James E. Bowen, Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, San Francisco, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


One of the problems faced with computer modeling of a multi-reservoir, hydro-power system is making decisions on how releases will be made. Reservoirs many times have multiple demands that become part of the decision making process; e.g. firm power, municipal water, irrigation water, fish, recreational flows, etc... Part of the decision process may also be based on inputs such as the season, precipitation, snow pack water content, present storage, etc... When considering all of these possible demands, a process of weighing them to decide the appropriate releases must be developed. The priorities of the many possible criteria can be determined month to month by a hydrologist who is familiar with the demands of the system. To simulate a system on a computer model with a minimum of prompting, it is necessary to create a operating plan that is capable of making decisions like a hydrologist would. To do this, a system that weighs the various criteria and that makes a decision of how much water should be released from each reservoir is needed to allow a computer model to be a useful tool. In the Hetch Hetchy Long Term Model (HHLTM), such a system has been developed; the HHLTM is used by Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, the municipal water supply for the City and County of San Francisco and much of the San Francisco Peninsula.

Subject Headings: Reservoirs | Computer models | Hydro power | Municipal water | Hydrologic models | Water-based recreation | Power plants | Decision making

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