Computer Aided Design and Operation of Reservoirs

  • M.J. Harley

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Tis thesis describes the application of dynamic
programming to the design and operation of water resource
systems, and investigates the use of a version of the
simple user-orientated problem solving language, HYDRO,
as developed by the author, in which hydrological and
hydraulic procedures may be embedded.

Stochastic dynamic programming methods are explored
and the policy iteration technique of Howard is developed
and applied to a two reservoir system to obtain long term
operating rules. The author found no previous applications
of this method to reservoir systems design in the current

Because of the high computing costs involved in the
stochastic methods, the author researched into the use of
deterministic dynamic programming applied to historical’
or synthetically generated inflow sequences for finding
long term rules.

It is concluded that the method described produces
satisfactory results and may in fact be more accurate than
stochastic dynamic programming in some cases because more
reliable representations of the basic data structure may
be used.
Date of Award1973
Original languageEnglish


  • computer aided design
  • reservoirs

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