Articles | Volume 13, issue 4
Research article
18 Apr 2013
Research article |  | 18 Apr 2013

Risk-based methodology for parameter calibration of a reservoir flood control model

P. Bianucci, A. Sordo-Ward, J. I. Pérez, J. García-Palacios, L. Mediero, and L. Garrote

Abstract. Flash floods are of major relevance in natural disaster management in the Mediterranean region. In many cases, the damaging effects of flash floods can be mitigated by adequate management of flood control reservoirs. This requires the development of suitable models for optimal operation of reservoirs. A probabilistic methodology for calibrating the parameters of a reservoir flood control model (RFCM) that takes into account the stochastic variability of flood events is presented. This study addresses the crucial problem of operating reservoirs during flood events, considering downstream river damages and dam failure risk as conflicting operation criteria. These two criteria are aggregated into a single objective of total expected damages from both the maximum released flows and stored volumes (overall risk index). For each selected parameter set the RFCM is run under a wide range of hydrologic loads (determined through Monte Carlo simulation). The optimal parameter set is obtained through the overall risk index (balanced solution) and then compared with other solutions of the Pareto front. The proposed methodology is implemented at three different reservoirs in the southeast of Spain. The results obtained show that the balanced solution offers a good compromise between the two main objectives of reservoir flood control management.