Optimizing Reservoir Water Management in a Changing Climate

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One of the UN agenda 2030 Sustainable Development goals is associated with water availability and its sustainable management. The present study intends to improve multipurpose reservoir management under climate change scenarios in water scarce regions such as the Mediterranean. Implemented methods include the sequential use of climate model results, hydrological modelling, and reservoir water balance simulation, which are used to estimate future water availability. This work focuses on developing an innovative reservoir management approach based on rule curves and a dynamic assessment of water needs, to improve the management of reservoirs that are dependent on a water transfer system. The proposed methods are implemented in two reservoirs located in a typical Mediterranean river basin and assessed under long-term climate change scenarios up to the year 2100. The results show that the proposed approach can ensure 100% of the urban water supply, improve the reliability of the irrigation supply from 75% to 86–91%, and provide 92–98% of the river ecological flow. It is also demonstrated that this management approach is beneficial, particularly in the case of multipurpose reservoirs in watersheds facing water scarcity risks, to optimize the balance between supply reliability, water transfer volumes, and costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3423–3437
Number of pages15
JournalWater Resources Management
Early online date5 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Climate change adaptation
  • Multipurpose reservoir management
  • Rule curve
  • Water supply reliability


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