skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Data‐Driven Reservoir Simulation in a Large‐Scale Hydrological and Water Resource Model

Abstract

Large-scale hydrological and water resource models (LHMs) are used increasingly to study the vulnerability of human systems to water scarcity. These models rely on generic reservoir release schemes that often fail to capture the nuances of operations at individual dams. Here we assess whether empirically derived release-availability functions tailored to individual dams could improve the simulation performance of an LHM. Seasonally varying, linear piecewise relations that specify water release as a function of prevailing storage levels and forecasted future inflow are compared to a common generic scheme for 36 key reservoirs of the Columbia River Basin. When forced with observed inflows, the empirical approach captures observed release decisions better than the generic scheme—including under conditions of drought. The inclusion of seasonally varying inflow forecasts used by reservoir operators adds further improvement. When exposed to biases and errors inherent in the LHM, data-driven policies fail to offer a robust improvement; inclusion of forecasts deteriorates LHM reservoir simulation performance in some cases. We perform sensitivity analysis to explain this result, finding that the bias inherent in LHM streamflow is amplified by a reservoir model that relies on forecasts. To harness the potential of interpretable, data-driven reservoir operating schemes, research must address LHMmore » flow biases arising from inaccuracies in climate input, runoff generation, flow routing, and water withdrawal and consumption data.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Energy and Environment Directorate Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Seattle WA USA
  2. Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering Cornell University Ithaca NY USA
  3. Energy and Environment Directorate Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Seattle WA USA, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Washington Seattle WA USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1668426
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1669036
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-153063
Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Grant/Contract Number:  
59534; AC05‐76RL01830; AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Water Resources Research Journal Volume: 56 Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
large‐scale hydrological and water resource model; dams; reservoirs; water resources model; hydrological simulation

Citation Formats

Turner, Sean W. D., Doering, Kenji, and Voisin, Nathalie. Data‐Driven Reservoir Simulation in a Large‐Scale Hydrological and Water Resource Model. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1029/2020WR027902.
Turner, Sean W. D., Doering, Kenji, & Voisin, Nathalie. Data‐Driven Reservoir Simulation in a Large‐Scale Hydrological and Water Resource Model. United States. doi:10.1029/2020WR027902.
Turner, Sean W. D., Doering, Kenji, and Voisin, Nathalie. Mon . "Data‐Driven Reservoir Simulation in a Large‐Scale Hydrological and Water Resource Model". United States. doi:10.1029/2020WR027902.
@article{osti_1668426,
title = {Data‐Driven Reservoir Simulation in a Large‐Scale Hydrological and Water Resource Model},
author = {Turner, Sean W. D. and Doering, Kenji and Voisin, Nathalie},
abstractNote = {Large-scale hydrological and water resource models (LHMs) are used increasingly to study the vulnerability of human systems to water scarcity. These models rely on generic reservoir release schemes that often fail to capture the nuances of operations at individual dams. Here we assess whether empirically derived release-availability functions tailored to individual dams could improve the simulation performance of an LHM. Seasonally varying, linear piecewise relations that specify water release as a function of prevailing storage levels and forecasted future inflow are compared to a common generic scheme for 36 key reservoirs of the Columbia River Basin. When forced with observed inflows, the empirical approach captures observed release decisions better than the generic scheme—including under conditions of drought. The inclusion of seasonally varying inflow forecasts used by reservoir operators adds further improvement. When exposed to biases and errors inherent in the LHM, data-driven policies fail to offer a robust improvement; inclusion of forecasts deteriorates LHM reservoir simulation performance in some cases. We perform sensitivity analysis to explain this result, finding that the bias inherent in LHM streamflow is amplified by a reservoir model that relies on forecasts. To harness the potential of interpretable, data-driven reservoir operating schemes, research must address LHM flow biases arising from inaccuracies in climate input, runoff generation, flow routing, and water withdrawal and consumption data.},
doi = {10.1029/2020WR027902},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
number = 10,
volume = 56,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1029/2020WR027902

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

An integrated model for the assessment of global water resources – Part 1: Model description and input meteorological forcing
journal, January 2008


On inclusion of water resource management in Earth system models – Part 1: Problem definition and representation of water demand
journal, January 2015


On an improved sub-regional water resources management representation for integration into earth system models
journal, January 2013


A simple hydrologically based model of land surface water and energy fluxes for general circulation models
journal, January 1994

  • Liang, Xu; Lettenmaier, Dennis P.; Wood, Eric F.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 99, Issue D7
  • DOI: 10.1029/94JD00483

Complex relationship between seasonal streamflow forecast skill and value in reservoir operations
journal, January 2017

  • Turner, Sean W. D.; Bennett, James C.; Robertson, David E.
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 21, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-21-4841-2017

Understanding performance measures of reservoirs
journal, June 2006


A Long-Term Hydrologically Based Dataset of Land Surface Fluxes and States for the Conterminous United States: Update and Extensions
journal, December 2013


Global models underestimate large decadal declining and rising water storage trends relative to GRACE satellite data
journal, January 2018

  • Scanlon, Bridget R.; Zhang, Zizhan; Save, Himanshu
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 115, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1704665115

Optimal Hedging and Carryover Storage Value
journal, January 2004


Human–water interface in hydrological modelling: current status and future directions
journal, January 2017

  • Wada, Yoshihide; Bierkens, Marc F. P.; de Roo, Ad
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 21, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-21-4169-2017

A reservoir operation scheme for global river routing models
journal, July 2006


High‐Resolution Modeling of Reservoir Release and Storage Dynamics at the Continental Scale
journal, January 2019

  • Shin, Sanghoon; Pokhrel, Yadu; Miguez‐Macho, Gonzalo
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 55, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018WR023025

Monitoring small reservoirs' storage with satellite remote sensing in inaccessible areas
journal, January 2017

  • Avisse, Nicolas; Tilmant, Amaury; Müller, Marc François
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 21, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-21-6445-2017

Assessing the impacts of reservoir operation to floodplain inundation by combining hydrological, reservoir management, and hydrodynamic models
journal, September 2014

  • Mateo, Cherry May; Hanasaki, Naota; Komori, Daisuke
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 50, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1002/2013WR014845

A Nearest Neighbor Bootstrap For Resampling Hydrologic Time Series
journal, March 1996

  • Lall, Upmanu; Sharma, Ashish
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 32, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1029/95WR02966

Global monthly water stress: 2. Water demand and severity of water stress: GLOBAL MONTHLY WATER STRESS, 2
journal, July 2011

  • Wada, Yoshihide; van Beek, L. P. H.; Viviroli, Daniel
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 47, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/2010WR009792

A Physically Based Runoff Routing Model for Land Surface and Earth System Models
journal, June 2013

  • Li, Hongyi; Wigmosta, Mark S.; Wu, Huan
  • Journal of Hydrometeorology, Vol. 14, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-12-015.1

Anthropogenic impacts on continental surface water fluxes
journal, January 2006

  • Haddeland, Ingjerd; Skaugen, Thomas; Lettenmaier, Dennis P.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006GL026047

Impact of water withdrawals from groundwater and surface water on continental water storage variations
journal, September 2012


Opportunities for Joint Water–Energy Management: Sensitivity of the 2010 Western U.S. Electricity Grid Operations to Climate Oscillations
journal, February 2018

  • Voisin, N.; Kintner-Meyer, M.; Wu, D.
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 99, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0253.1

Reliability, resiliency, and vulnerability criteria for water resource system performance evaluation
journal, February 1982

  • Hashimoto, Tsuyoshi; Stedinger, Jery R.; Loucks, Daniel P.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 18, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1029/WR018i001p00014

Determining Inflow Forecast Horizon for Reservoir Operation
journal, May 2019

  • Zhao, Qiankun; Cai, Ximing; Li, Yu
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 55, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019WR025226

Climate and water resource change impacts and adaptation potential for US power supply
journal, October 2017

  • Miara, Ariel; Macknick, Jordan E.; Vörösmarty, Charles J.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 7, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate3417

Inferred inflow forecast horizons guiding reservoir release decisions across the United States
journal, January 2020

  • Turner, Sean W. D.; Xu, Wenwei; Voisin, Nathalie
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 24, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-24-1275-2020

Global modeling of withdrawal, allocation and consumptive use of surface water and groundwater resources
journal, January 2014

  • Wada, Y.; Wisser, D.; Bierkens, M. F. P.
  • Earth System Dynamics, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.5194/esd-5-15-2014

Global-scale analysis of river flow alterations due to water withdrawals and reservoirs
journal, January 2009


Global hydrology 2015: State, trends, and directions
journal, July 2015


Representation and improved parameterization of reservoir operation in hydrological and land-surface models
journal, January 2019

  • Yassin, Fuad; Razavi, Saman; Elshamy, Mohamed
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 23, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-23-3735-2019

Towards Global Hydrological Drought Monitoring Using Remotely Sensed Reservoir Surface Area
journal, November 2019


Global water resources affected by human interventions and climate change
journal, December 2013

  • Haddeland, Ingjerd; Heinke, Jens; Biemans, Hester
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1222475110

High-resolution modeling of human and climate impacts on global water resources: HIGH-RESOLUTION MODELING OF GLOBAL WATER
journal, May 2016

  • Wada, Yoshihide; de Graaf, Inge E. M.; van Beek, Ludovicus P. H.
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 8, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015MS000618

Realistic Initialization of Land Surface States: Impacts on Subseasonal Forecast Skill
journal, December 2004

  • Koster, Randal D.; Suarez, Max J.; Liu, Ping
  • Journal of Hydrometeorology, Vol. 5, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1175/JHM-387.1

Climate change and the vulnerability of electricity generation to water stress in the European Union
journal, July 2017

  • Behrens, Paul; van Vliet, Michelle T. H.; Nanninga, Tijmen
  • Nature Energy, Vol. 2, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1038/nenergy.2017.114

On the representation of water reservoir storage and operations in large-scale hydrological models: implications on model parameterization and climate change impact assessments
journal, January 2020

  • Dang, Thanh Duc; Chowdhury, A. F. M. Kamal; Galelli, Stefano
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 24, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-24-397-2020

Impact of reservoirs on river discharge and irrigation water supply during the 20th century: IMPACT OF RESERVOIRS ON DISCHARGE AND IRRIGATION
journal, March 2011

  • Biemans, H.; Haddeland, I.; Kabat, P.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 47, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1029/2009WR008929

Deduction of reservoir operating rules for application in global hydrological models
journal, January 2018

  • Coerver, Hubertus M.; Rutten, Martine M.; van de Giesen, Nick C.
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 22, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-22-831-2018

Multimodel assessment of water scarcity under climate change
journal, December 2013

  • Schewe, Jacob; Heinke, Jens; Gerten, Dieter
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1222460110

21st century United States emissions mitigation could increase water stress more than the climate change it is mitigating
journal, August 2015

  • Hejazi, Mohamad I.; Voisin, Nathalie; Liu, Lu
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, Issue 34
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1421675112

Reconstructing 20th century global hydrography: a contribution to the Global Terrestrial Network- Hydrology (GTN-H)
journal, January 2010

  • Wisser, D.; Fekete, B. M.; Vörösmarty, C. J.
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 14, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-14-1-2010

High‐resolution mapping of the world's reservoirs and dams for sustainable river‐flow management
journal, May 2011

  • Lehner, Bernhard; Liermann, Catherine Reidy; Revenga, Carmen
  • Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 9, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1890/100125

Sensitivity-guided reduction of parametric dimensionality for multi-objective calibration of watershed models
journal, August 2009


Incorporation of groundwater pumping in a global Land Surface Model with the representation of human impacts
journal, January 2015

  • Pokhrel, Yadu N.; Koirala, Sujan; Yeh, Pat J. -F.
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 51, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014WR015602

The impact of lake and reservoir parameterization on global streamflow simulation
journal, May 2017


Global evaluation of runoff from 10 state-of-the-art hydrological models
journal, January 2017

  • Beck, Hylke E.; van Dijk, Albert I. J. M.; de Roo, Ad
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 21, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-21-2881-2017

Determining water reservoir characteristics with global elevation data: Reservoir Characteristics
journal, November 2016

  • van Bemmelen, C. W. T.; Mann, M.; de Ridder, M. P.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069816

Rationale for Monitoring Discharge on the Ground
journal, December 2012

  • Fekete, Balázs M.; Looser, Ulrich; Pietroniro, Alain
  • Journal of Hydrometeorology, Vol. 13, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-11-0126.1