Development of an Optimization/Simulation Model for Real-Time Flood-Control Operation of River-Reservoirs Systems

Daniel Che, Larry Mays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Real-time optimal operation models for river-reservoir systems, unfortunately, are not widely available. Such models are still in their infancy perhaps due to the complexity of the application. This paper presents the development and testing of a methodology for determining reservoir release schedules before, during, and after an extreme flood event in real time. The problem is formulated as a real-time optimal control problem in which reservoir releases represent the decision variables. The model consists of five major components: (1) the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Hydrologic Engineering Center - Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS), which simulates rainfall-runoff processes of watershed systems; (2) the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center - River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) for one-dimensional unsteady flow routing; (3) a reservoir release operation model; (4) a short-term rainfall forecasting model to project rainfall over the next few hours during a rainfall event; and (5) a genetic algorithm (GA) optimizer interfaced with the other components that determine the real time operation of a river-reservoir systems. An example application is used to test the development of the modeling framework, also illustrating the use of such a model. Each model component and its interface in the modeling framework was tested for quality assurance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3987-4005
Number of pages19
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 16 2015



  • Flood control operation
  • Flood forecasting
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Optimization
  • Rainfall forecasting
  • Rainfall-runoff models
  • Real-time operation
  • Reservoir operation
  • Unsteady flow routing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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