KWRRI Research Reports


The purpose of this study was to develop a methodology for determining an optimum set of reservoir operating rules specifying the of storage space based on the example of Rough River Reservoir, a Corps of Engineers project in Breckinridge and Grayson Counties, Kentucky, and assuming this multipurpose reservoir provides flood control, water supply, and recreation. The operating rules were derived by the method of marginal analysis which uses as its criteria achievement of maximum net benefits from the available storage capacity.

Benefit relationships were derived for each use. The variation of flood control benefits with available flood storage was determined from Corps of Engineers stage-damage curves and statistical analysis of the historical storms in the area. The variation of water supply yield with the allowable water surface fluctuation within the reservoir was determined by using statistical properties of past streamflow to synthesize a month-by-month operation of the reservoir. Recreation benefits as they varied with available storage were determined for five levels of annual visitation (up to twice the present value) by subdividing use among three activity types and estimating how each type of use would be affected by a fluctuation of water level.

The three benefit curves were combined by the method of marginal analysis, and the derived operating rules were expressed as curves Which vary with the marginal value of an acre-foot of water for water supply.

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"Derivation of Reservoir Operating Rules by Economic Analysis" is based on research performed as part of a project entitled "The Economic Impact of Flood Control Reservoirs" (OWRR Project No. A-006-KY) sponsored by the University of Kentucky Water Resources Institute and supported in part by funds provided by the United States Department of Interior as authorized under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964, Public Law 88-379.