Optimisation of hedging-integrated rule curves for reservoir operation
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Reservoir managers use operational rule curves as guides for managing and operating reservoir systems. However, this approach saves no water for impending droughts, resulting in large shortages during such droughts. This problem can be tempered by integrating hedging with the rule curves to curtail the water releases during normal periods of operation and use the saved water to limit the amount and impact of water shortages during droughts. However, determining the timing and amount of hedging is a challenge. This thesis presents the application of genetic algorithms (GA) for the optimisation of hedging-integrated reservoir rule curves. However, due to the challenge of establishing the boundary of feasible region in standard GA (SGA), a new development of the GA i.e. the dynamic GA (DGA), is proposed. Both the new development and its hedging policies were tested through extensive simulations of the Ubonratana reservoir (Thailand). The first observation was that the new DGA was faster and more efficient than the SGA in arriving at an optimal solution. Additionally, the derived hedging policies produced significant changes in reservoir performance when compared to no-hedging policies. The performance indices analysed were reliability (time and volume), resilience, vulnerability and sustainability; the results showed that the vulnerability (i.e. average single periods shortage) in particular was significantly reduced with the optimised hedging rules as compared to using the no-hedging rule curves. This study also developed a monthly inflow forecasting model using artificial neural networks (ANN) to aid reservoir operational decision-making. Extensive testing of the model showed that it was able to provide inflow forecasts with reasonable accuracy. The simulated effect on reservoir performance of forecasted inflows vis-à-vis other assumed reservoir inflow knowledge situations showed that the ANN forecasts were superior, further reinforcing the importance of good inflow information for reservoir operation. The ability of hedging to harness the inherent buffering capacity of existing water resources systems for tempering water shortage (or vulnerability) without the need for expensive new-builds is a major outcome of this study. Although applied to Ubonratana, the study has utility for other regions of the world, where e.g. climate and other environmental changes are stressing the water availability situation.