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Forecast uncertainty in reservoir operation

TitleForecast uncertainty in reservoir operation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsMishalani NR, Palmer RN
JournalWater Resources Bulletin
Start Page1237
Date Published12/1988

This research investigates the benefits of forecasting in water supply systems. Questions relating operational losses to forecast period and accuracy are addressed. Some simple available forecasting techniques are assessed for their accuracy and applicability. These issues are addressed through the use of a simulation model of the Cedar and South Fork Tolt Rivers, where the system is modeled as a single purpose reservoir supplying municipal and industrial water to the Seattle metropolitan area. The following conclusions were made for this system: (1) reservoir operation deteriorates markedly with the loss of forecast accuracy; (2) the optimal length of forecasting period is five months; (3) reservoir operation may be improved by as much as 88 percent if perfect predictive abilities are available; (4) the mean of the historic data is not recommended to predict future flows because Markov methods are always superior; and (5) lag-one autoregressive Markov schemes exhibit about a 9 percent improvement in operation over no forecasting.