Carron, J., E. Zagona, and T. Fulp. “Modeling Uncertainty in an Object-Oriented Reservoir Operations Model,” Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 132(2), pp.104–111 (March/April 2006).

Abstract: In recent years, reservoir management considerations have expanded to include environmental and recreational objectives, many of which are often difficult to quantify. With a larger set of operational objectives comes the need to identify tradeoffs and uncertainties among the various objectives. Uncertainty modeling may contribute to better reservoir management by identifying and quantifying the sources of significant uncertainty in predicting reservoir and river conditions that affect environmental habitats and recreational conditions. We implement a first-order, second-moment algorithm in RiverWare, an object-oriented river and reservoir modeling environment. The method is developed and applied to a case study from the lower Colorado River, where a preexisting deterministic model is used for reservoir operations and planning. The case study involves evaluation of uncertainties associated with prescribed reservoir pool elevations for purposes of recovering endangered fish species. Comparison of historical forecasts with observed data can provide managers with insight into operational policies that result in greater system uncertainty. Identifying these sources of uncertainty can guide managers in the development of future operational guidelines.