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Water 2017, 9(9), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9090649

Long-Term Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Tennessee Valley Authority Reservoir Operations: Norris Dam

1
Sierra Nevada Research Institute, School of Engineering, University of California at Merced, Merced, CA 95344, USA
2
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract

Norris Reservoir is the oldest and largest reservoir maintained and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Norris Dam received a new operating guide in 2004; however, this new guide did not consider projected climate change. In an aging infrastructure, the necessity to assess the potential impacts of climate change on water resources planning and management is increasing. This study used a combined monthly hydrologic model and a general circulation model’s (GCM) outcome to project inflows for three future time spans: 2030s, 2050s, and 2070s. The current operating guide was then assessed and optimized using penalty-function-driven genetic algorithms to gain insight for how the current guide will respond to climate change, and if it can be further optimized. The results showed that the current operating guide could sufficiently handle the increased projected runoff without major risk of dam failure or inundation, but the optimized operating guides decreased operational penalties ranging from 22 to 37 percent. These findings show that the framework used here provides water resources planning and management a methodology for assessing and optimizing current systems, and emphasizes the need to consider projected climate change as an assessment tool for reservoir operations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Norris Reservoir; climate change; hydrologic model; genetic algorithms; reservoir operation Norris Reservoir; climate change; hydrologic model; genetic algorithms; reservoir operation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Rungee, J.; Kim, U. Long-Term Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Tennessee Valley Authority Reservoir Operations: Norris Dam. Water 2017, 9, 649.

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