Integrating a reservoir regulation scheme into a spatially distributed hydrological model Academic Article uri icon


  • � 2016 Elsevier Ltd During the past several decades, numerous reservoirs have been built across the world for a variety of purposes such as flood control, irrigation, municipal/industrial water supplies, and hydropower generation. Consequently, the timing and magnitude of natural streamflow have been altered significantly by reservoir operations. In addition, the hydrological cycle is also modified by land-use/land-cover change and by climate change. To understand the fine-scale feedback between hydrological processes and water management decisions, a distributed hydrological model embedded with a reservoir component is desired. In this study, a multi-purpose reservoir module with predefined complex operational rules was integrated into the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM). Conditional operating rules, which are designed to reduce flood risk and enhance water supply reliability, were adopted in this module. The performance of the integrated model was tested over the upper Brazos River Basin in Texas, where two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed reservoirs, Lake Whitney and Aquilla Lake, are located. The integrated model was calibrated and validated using observed reservoir inflow, outflow, and storage data. The error statistics were summarized for both reservoirs on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Using the weekly reservoir storage for Lake Whitney as an example, the coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.85 and the Nash-Sutcliff Efficiency (NSE) was 0.75. These results suggest that this reservoir module holds promise for use in sub-monthly hydrological simulations. With the new reservoir component, the DHSVM provides a platform to support adaptive water resources management under the impacts of evolving anthropogenic activities and substantial environmental changes.

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhao, G., Gao, H., Naz, B. S., Kao, S., & Voisin, N.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Zhao, Gang||Gao, Huilin||Naz, Bibi S||Kao, Shih-Chieh||Voisin, Nathalie

publication date

  • December 2016