Optimality conditions for a two-stage reservoir operation problem

Jianshi Zhao, Ximing Cai, Zhongjing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the optimality conditions for standard operation policy (SOP) and hedging rule (HR) for a two-stage reservoir operation problem using a consistent theoretical framework. The effects of three typical constraints, i.e., mass balance, nonnegative release, and storage constraints under both certain and uncertain conditions are analyzed. When all nonnegative constraints and storage constraints are unbinding, HR results in optimal reservoir operation following the marginal benefit (MB) principle (the MB is equal over current and future stages. However, if any of those constraints are binding, SOP results in the optimal solution, except in some special cases which need to carry over water in the current stage to the future stage, when extreme drought is certain and a higher marginal utility exists for the second stage. Furthermore, uncertainty complicates the effects of the various constraints. A higher uncertainty level in the future makes HR more favorable as water needs to be reserved to defend against the risk caused by uncertainty. Using the derived optimality conditions, an algorithm for solving a numerical model is developed and tested with the Miyun Reservoir in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7202
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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