Hydroeconomic optimization of reservoir management under downstream water quality constraints

Claus Davidsen, Suxia Liu, Xingguo Mo, Peter E. Holm, Stefan Trapp, Dan Rosbjerg, Peter Bauer-Gottwein

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    A hydroeconomic optimization approach is used to guide water management in a Chinese river basin with the objectives of meeting water quantity and water quality constraints, in line with the China 2011 No. 1 Policy Document and 2015 Ten-point Water Plan. The proposed modeling framework couples water quantity and water quality management and minimizes the total costs over a planning period assuming stochastic future runoff. The outcome includes cost-optimal reservoir releases, groundwater pumping, water allocation, wastewater treatments and water curtailments. The optimization model uses a variant of stochastic dynamic programming known as the water value method. Nonlinearity arising from the water quality constraints is handled with an effective hybrid method combining genetic algorithms and linear programming. Untreated pollutant loads are represented by biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and the resulting minimum dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration is computed with the Streeter-Phelps equation and constrained to match Chinese water quality targets. The baseline water scarcity and operational costs are estimated to 15.6. billion. CNY/year. Compliance to water quality grade III causes a relatively low increase to 16.4. billion. CNY/year. Dilution plays an important role and increases the share of surface water allocations to users situated furthest downstream in the system. The modeling framework generates decision rules that result in the economically efficient strategy for complying with both water quantity and water quality constraints.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Hydrology
    Pages (from-to)1679-1689
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Hydroeconomic modeling
    • Integrated water resources management (IWRM)
    • River basin
    • Stochastic dynamic programming (SDP)
    • Water quality management
    • Water value
    • Biochemical oxygen demand
    • Costs
    • Dissolved oxygen
    • Dynamic programming
    • Genetic algorithms
    • Groundwater
    • Linear programming
    • Optimization
    • Quality management
    • Reservoir management
    • Reservoirs (water)
    • Runoff
    • Stochastic models
    • Stochastic systems
    • Surface waters
    • Wastewater treatment
    • Water conservation
    • Water management
    • Water pollution
    • Water quality
    • Watersheds
    • Biochemical oxygen demands (BOD)
    • Dissolved oxygen concentrations
    • Hydro-economic optimizations
    • Integrated Water Resources Management
    • Optimization modeling
    • River basins
    • Stochastic dynamic programming
    • Water resources


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