Real-time dynamic control of the Three Gorges Reservoir by coupling numerical weather rainfall prediction and flood forecasting

Y. Wang, H. Chen, Dan Rosbjerg, H. Madsen, Peter Bauer-Gottwein, J. Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In reservoir operation improvement of the accuracy of forecast flood inflow and extension of forecast lead-time can effectively be achieved by using rainfall forecasts from numerical weather predictions with a hydrological catchment model. In this study, the Regional Spectrum Model (RSM), which is developed by the Japan Meteorological Agency, was used to forecast rainfall with 5 days lead-time in the upper region of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR). A conceptual hydrological model, the Xinanjiang Model, has been set up to forecast the inflow flood of TGR by the Ministry of Water Resources Information Center. Here, the flood forecast model coupled with the rainfall forecast from RSM has been employed to carry out real-time dynamic control of the Flood Limiting Water Level (FLWL) of TGR in order to improve the hydropower generation without increasing the flood risk. Taking the flood events of the flood season 2012 as example, real-time dynamic control of the FLWL was implemented by using the forecasted reservoir flood inflow as input. The forecasted inflow with 5 days lead-time rainfall forecast was evaluated by several performance indices, including the mean relative error of the volumetric reservoir content, the relative error of peak flow and the time difference between the forecasted and the observed peak flow, all showing good performance of the forecast. Using the forecasted inflow as input to the FLWL model of TGR, the results showed that the dynamic control scheme did not increase the flood risk, and significantly increased hydropower generation in comparison with the current static operation rule.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConsidering Hydrological Change in Reservoir Planning and Management
EditorsAndreas Schumann et al.
PublisherIAHS Press
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-1-907161-40-7
Publication statusPublished - 2013
SeriesIAHS Publications Series (Red Books)


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