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Towards best water management policies: how current irrigation reservoir operation practices compare with theory in Alberta


  • Marie-Ève Jean
  • Evan G.R. Davies


Improved reservoir operation policies based on river basin management simulations have typically not been implemented in the field. This article investigates this disconnect between reservoir operations theory and practice. Interviews with water managers in southern Alberta (Canada) reveal that reservoir operations are based on basin-wide cooperation, a focus on the current state of the system without hedging rules, and early-season announcements of water rationing. Model development should focus on multiple time-step optimization approaches that can produce optimal release decisions for various levels of risk, provide better insight into effects of alternative releases and potentially reduce supply shortfalls.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Ève Jean & Evan G.R. Davies, 2016. "Towards best water management policies: how current irrigation reservoir operation practices compare with theory in Alberta," Water International, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(7), pages 948-965, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rwinxx:v:41:y:2016:i:7:p:948-965
    DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2016.1210562

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