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Coping with Extreme Events: Effect of Different Reservoir Operation Strategies on Flood Inundation Maps

Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, 75236 Uppsala, Sweden
Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science, CNDS, 75236 Uppsala, Sweden
Niccolò Cusano University, 00166 Rome, Italy
Centro Funzionale della Regione Umbria (CFD), 06034 Foligno, Italy
UNESCO Chair in Water Resources Management and Culture, University for Foreigners of Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, 06125 Perugia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(5), 982;
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Challenges in Flood Defence Design and Management)
PDF [11426 KB, uploaded 10 May 2019]


The need of addressing “residual flood risk” associated with structural protection measures, such as levee systems and flood-control reservoirs, has fostered actions aimed at increasing flood risk awareness. Structural measures have lowered risk perception by inducing a false sense of safety. As a result, these structures contribute to an underestimation of the “residual risk”. We analyze the effect of different reservoir operations, such as coping with drought versus coping with flood events, on flood inundation patterns. First, a hydrological model simulates different scenarios, which represent the dam regulation strategies. Each regulation strategy is the combination of an opening of the outlet gate and of the initial water level in the reservoir. Second, the corresponding outputs of the dam in terms of maximum discharge values are estimated. Then, in turn, each output of the dam is used as an upstream boundary condition of a hydraulic model used to simulate the flood propagation and the inundation processes in the river reach. The hydraulic model is thus used to determine the effect, in terms of inundated areas, of each dam regulation scenario. Finally, the ensemble of all flood inundation maps is built to define the areas more prone to be flooded. The test site is the Casanuova dam (Umbria, central Italy) which aims at: (i) mitigating floods occurring at the Chiascio River, one of the main tributaries of Tiber River, while (ii) providing water supply for irrigation. Because of these two competitive interests, the understanding of different scenarios generated by the dam operations offers an unique support to flood mitigation strategies. Results can lead to draw interesting remarks for a wide number of case studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: flood risk; reservoir regulation; dam retention basin; residual risk; flood inundation map; extreme events flood risk; reservoir regulation; dam retention basin; residual risk; flood inundation map; extreme events

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Ridolfi, E.; Di Francesco, S.; Pandolfo, C.; Berni, N.; Biscarini, C.; Manciola, P. Coping with Extreme Events: Effect of Different Reservoir Operation Strategies on Flood Inundation Maps. Water 2019, 11, 982.

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