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Title: On an improved sub-regional water resources management representation for integration into earth system models

Human influence on the hydrologic cycle includes regulation and storage, consumptive use and overall redistribution of water resources in space and time. Representing these processes is essential for applications of earth system models in hydrologic and climate predictions, as well as impact studies at regional to global scales. Emerging large-scale research reservoir models use generic operating rules that are flexible for coupling with earth system models. Those generic operating rules have been successful in reproducing the overall regulated flow at large basin scales. This study investigates the uncertainties of the reservoir models from different implementations of the generic operating rules using the complex multi-objective Columbia River Regulation System in northwestern United States as an example to understand their effects on not only regulated flow but also reservoir storage and fraction of the demand that is met. Numerical experiments are designed to test new generic operating rules that combine storage and releases targets for multi-purpose reservoirs and to compare the use of reservoir usage priorities, withdrawals vs. consumptive demand, as well as natural vs. regulated mean flow for calibrating operating rules. Overall the best performing implementation is the use of the combined priorities (flood control storage targets and irrigation release targets)more » operating rules calibrated with mean annual natural flow and mean monthly withdrawals. The challenge of not accounting for groundwater withdrawals, or on the contrary, assuming that all remaining demand is met through groundwater extractions, is discussed.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
35201; KP1703020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17(9):3605-3622
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
water resources; reservoir; model; Columbia; earth system model; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory