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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of GloFAS-Seasonal Forecasts for Cascade Reservoir Impoundment Operation in the Upper Yangtze River

1
State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2
Wuhan Regional Climate Centre, Hubei Meteorology Bureau, Wuhan 430074, China
3
Middle Changjiang River Bureau of Hydrology and Water Resources Survey, Wuhan 430012, China
4
Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing (CHRS) & Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2539; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122539
Received: 1 November 2019 / Revised: 24 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 1 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hydrologic Forecasts and Water Resources Management)
Standard impoundment operation rules (SIOR) are pre-defined guidelines for refilling reservoirs before the end of the wet season. The advancement and availability of the seasonal flow forecasts provide the opportunity for reservoir operators to use flexible and early impoundment operation rules (EIOR). These flexible impoundment rules can significantly improve water conservation, particularly during dry years. In this study, we investigate the potential application of seasonal streamflow forecasts for employing EIOR in the upper Yangtze River basin. We first define thresholds to determine the streamflow condition in September, which is an important period for decision-making in the basin, and then select the most suitable impoundment operation rules accordingly. The thresholds are used in a simulation–optimization model to evaluate different scenarios for EIOR and SIOR by multiple objectives. We measure the skill of the GloFAS-Seasonal forecast, an operational global seasonal river flow forecasting system, to predict streamflow condition according to the selected thresholds. The results show that: (1) the 20th and 30th percentiles of the historical September flow are suitable thresholds for evaluating the possibility of employing EIOR; (2) compared to climatological forecasts, GloFAS-Seasonal forecasts are skillful for predicting the streamflow condition according to the selected 20th and 30th percentile thresholds; and (3) during dry years, EIOR could improve the fullness storage rate by 5.63% and the annual average hydropower generation by 4.02%, without increasing the risk of flooding. GloFAS-Seasonal forecasts and early reservoir impoundment have the potential to enhance hydropower generation and water utilization.
Keywords: Yangtze River; cascade reservoirs; impoundment operation; GloFAS-Seasonal; forecast evaluation Yangtze River; cascade reservoirs; impoundment operation; GloFAS-Seasonal; forecast evaluation
MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, K.; Guo, S.; Wang, J.; Qin, P.; He, S.; Sun, S.; Naeini, M.R. Evaluation of GloFAS-Seasonal Forecasts for Cascade Reservoir Impoundment Operation in the Upper Yangtze River. Water 2019, 11, 2539.

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