A box-model approach for reservoir operation during extreme rainfall events: A case study

  • P Anandharuban
  • Michele La Rocca
  • L ElangoEmail author


Extreme rainfall events in an urban area pose various challenges to the water resource managers in terms of flood mitigation, inundation, water conservation and harvesting for drinking water supply. The objective of this study is to apply the box-model approach to evaluate reservoir operation during extreme rainfall events. A large water supply reservoir in Chennai was chosen to carry out this study. A box model, based on input–output parameters, is proposed to simulate the reservoir operation and hydraulic behaviour. Hydrologic Engineering Centre-Hydrologic Modelling System (HEC-HMS) has been used to simulate the reservoir inflow hydrograph and to understand the run-off characteristics of the basin. Three extreme rainfall events occurred in past have been selected for the analysis. Three different scenarios have been framed to assess the reservoir performance. Reducing the initial storage to 50% and releasing water at the beginning of the event gives a possible solution for flood mitigation in reducing the outflow volume by 9–37% and delaying the time to peak by 1–6 h. Though the reduced outflow volume from this reservoir is less, it can help to mitigate the flood inundation to a significant extent. Thus the box-model approach presented here can be utilised as a simple tool to generate the various combinations of outflow hydrographs for any reservoir.


Reservoir operation box model flood HEC-HMS water scarcity 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Anna Centenary Research Fellowship (Lr. No. CFR/ACRF/2016/42) received from Anna University, Chennai and Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (Grant No: Lr.No.INT/Italy/P-2/2016(ER) and DST/TM/WTI/WIC/2K17/82(G)).


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyAnna UniversityChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of EngineeringRoma Tre UniversityRomeItaly

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