Optimal operation of interbasin water transfer multireservoir systems: an empirical analysis from China

  • Kelin Liu
  • Zongzhi WangEmail author
  • Liang Cheng
  • Lingling Zhang
  • Huihua Du
  • Leyan Tan
Thematic Issue
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Climate Effects on Water Resources


The optimal operation of an interbasin water transfer multireservoir system (IWTMS) is more complicated than a general one-basin multireservoir system because water release and water transfer occur simultaneously. Previous studies primarily employed reservoir zoning and rule curves to deal with the relationship between reservoir water release and water transfer, and the operating priorities for water release and water transfer are established by decision-makers. However, these priorities may be somewhat subjective and result in suboptimal operation of the entire system. To overcome this shortcoming, a genetic algorithm (GA)-based optimization model was developed to endeavor to get the optimal operation of an IWTMS. The optimization model consists of a GA and a simulation process based on water balance equation, and was applied to a typical IWTMS in Rizhao City, Shandong Province, China. The results showed that the GA was effective and efficient on solving the optimization problem of IWTMSs, and the reliability of the system’s water supply increased from 70.6 to 88.4% due to water transfer and could increase further to 96.4% by implementing optimization.


Interbasin water transfer Multireservoir Optimization Genetic algorithm Simulation 



This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0403504) and the National Science Foundation of China (51579064) and Technology demonstration project of Ministry of Water Resources of China (SF-201803). The authors thank the editors and the anonymous reviewers for their comments, which helped improve the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic EngineeringNanjing Hydraulic Research InstituteNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Public AdministrationHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Eco-hydraulics in Northwest Arid Region of ChinaXi’an University of TechnologyXi’anChina
  4. 4.Shandong Survey and Design Institute of Water ConservancyJinanChina

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