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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-7
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-7
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 16 Jan 2019

Research article | 16 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Representation of Water Management in Hydrological and Land Surface Models

Fuad Yassin1, Saman Razavi1, Mohamed Elshamy1, Bruce Davison2, Gonzalo Sapriza-Azuri3, and Howard Wheater1 Fuad Yassin et al.
  • 1Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, National Hydrology Research Centre, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 2H5, Canada
  • 2National Hydrology Research Center, Environment Canada, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, Canada
  • 3Departamento del Agua, Centro Universitario Regiόn Litoral Norte, Universidad de la República del Uruguay, Salto, Uruguay

Abstract. Reservoirs significantly affect flow regimes in watershed systems by changing the magnitude and timing of streamflows. Failure to represent these effects limits the performance of hydrological and land surface models (H-LSMs) in the many highly regulated basins across the globe and limits the applicability of such models to investigate the futures of watershed systems through scenario analysis (e.g., scenarios of climate, land use, or reservoir regulation changes). An adequate representation of reservoirs and their operation in an H-LSM is therefore essential for a realistic representation of the downstream flow regime. In this paper, we present a general parametric reservoir operation model based on piecewise linear relationships between reservoir storage, inflow, and release, to approximate actual reservoir operations. For the identification of the model parameters, we propose two strategies: (a) a generalized parameterization that requires a relatively limited amount of data; and (b) direct calibration via multi-objective optimization when more data on historical storage and release are available. We use data from 37 reservoir case studies located in several regions across the globe for developing and testing the model. We further build this reservoir operation model into the MESH modelling system, which is a large-scale H-LSM. Our results across the case studies show that the proposed reservoir model with both of the parameter identification strategies leads to improved simulation accuracy compared with the other widely used approaches for reservoir operation simulation. We further show the significance of enabling MESH with this reservoir model and discuss the interdependent effects of the simulation accuracy of natural processes and that of reservoir operation on the overall model performance. The reservoir operation model is generic and can be integrated into any H-LSM.

Fuad Yassin et al.
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Fuad Yassin et al.
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