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Deriving Optimal Daily Reservoir Operation Scheme with Consideration of Downstream Ecological Hydrograph Through A Time-Nested Approach

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The ecological flow requirement (EFR) during special life stages of species, for instance the fish spawning period, concerns not only the flow rate, but also daily changes in the flow rate. Therefore, it is more appropriate to optimize ecologically-friendly reservoir operation on a daily base. Directly formulating and solving a daily-based optimization model would involve a large number of decision variables as well as constraints, which may lead to unfavourable time consumption and unreliable solutions. This study proposes a time-nested approach to derive an optimal daily reservoir operation scheme with consideration of the downstream ecological hydrograph. It scales down the decision variables from monthly-base to 10-day base and finally to daily-base. The proposed method was applied to two cascaded reservoirs in the Yalong River in southwest China, where a daily ecological flow is required to conserve the habitats of an indigenous fish Schizothorax chongi (S. chongi). The results showed that the developed method could efficiently derive a daily optimal operational scheme with the consideration of downstream EFR for fish habitat conservation. In addition, the method greatly improves global searching ability in dealing with complex optimization problems.

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This work is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51425902, No. 51109012, No. 51279196).

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Correspondence to Qiuwen Chen.

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Chen, D., Li, R., Chen, Q. et al. Deriving Optimal Daily Reservoir Operation Scheme with Consideration of Downstream Ecological Hydrograph Through A Time-Nested Approach. Water Resour Manage 29, 3371–3386 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-015-1005-z

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  • Reservoir operation
  • Daily ecological flow requirement
  • Time-nested optimization
  • Fish habitat