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The Role of Reservoir Flow Regulation and Evaporation in Water Resources Management

By Gang Zhao


Surface water reservoirs have been used for supporting many water resources applications such as flood control, water supply, and hydropower generation. Modeling of reservoir systems and observations of the key water budget terms are essential for providing precise information for modern water resources management. In this dissertation, a series of modeling and remote sensing approaches were established to improve our understanding about reservoir systems under a changing environment. These approaches are presented in three step-by-step studies: 1. In the first study, a reservoir module was incorporated into a physically-based distributed hydrological model to fill in the gap between rainfall-runoff models and river/watershed management models. The new modeling framework was calibrated and validated over Lake Whitney. The simulated results were found robust at daily, weekly, and monthly levels. The new model provides the capability of simulating reservoir flow regulation in a changing environment. 2. The integrated modeling framework was then applied to the Dallas metropolitan area to evaluate the impacts of potential droughts and population growth on future water supply reliability. Results suggested that reservoir storage and water supply reliability during the second half of the 21st century (2050–2099) are projected to decline by 16.1% and 14.2% when compared to the first half (2000–2049). The uncertainty associated with future climate projection is larger than that associated with urbanization. 3. In the last study, an algorithm was developed by combining the remotely sensed reservoir surface area with the modeled evaporation rate to quantify the evaporation amount for 209 major reservoirs in the United States. The evaporation rate shows a positive trend (due to the current brightening trend) while the total surface area shows a negative trend (due to reduced precipitation in the western US). Consequently, the total evaporation amount shows no significant trend from 1985 to 2014

Topics: Reservoir modeling, non-stationarity, evaporation, remote sensing
Year: 2019
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