I. Corbu1, G.A. Nix2, and J.C. Rassam3


The MORRO model was developed in Canada for use by the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board (ORRPB) to integrate the operation of the Ottawa River during the spring freshet season, when the two objectives of flood damage reduction and energy generation must be considered. The model has been used since 1981 for the real-time operation of the Ottawa River System. This system is made up of 33 reservoirs and 43 hydraulic generating stations with a total installed capacity of about 3,500 MW. Since the model was developed as a generalized software package, it is also being used by Hydro-Quebec and Ontario Hydro for other river systems. These two power utilities are using the model for river basin feasibility studies, assessing the impact of environmental constraints on energy production, after-the-fact performance evaluation of river system operation, and calculation of energy generation productivity. The paper provides an overview of the model and of its utilization in Central Canada.


The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Committee (ORRPC) was formed in 1977 as a result of an agreement between the Federal Government and the Provincial Governments of Quebec and Ontario. One of the most important terms of reference for this Committee was to recommend criteria for the regulation of the Ottawa River, taking into account flood protection, hydro power generation, navigation, low water requirements, water quality needs, and recreation. In order to satisfy this mandate ORRPC formed a Working Group made up of representatives from Environment Canada, Environment Quebec, Hydro-Quebec, Ontario Hydro, and a private consultant. The Working Group was requested to develop a river regulation model for the integrated operation of the Ottawa River during the March-June spring freshet season. The development of the Ottawa River Regulation Modeling System was completed in 1980. Subsequent to a year of careful testing, water resource managers of the various federal and provincial agencies involved in the operation of the Ottawa River developed confidence in the model and recommended its utilization.
In 1983, the temporary ORRPC Committee was transformed into the permanent Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board. Since its formation the Board has used this regulation model as one of its operating tools.
The model is known under several names. Apart from its French name, Model d'Optimisation de la Regularization de la Rivier des Outaouais-MORRO, the model is also known as the Ottawa River Regulation Modeling System - ORRMS (Bechard et al,1981), …

1 Ontario Hydro, 700 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X6
2 Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board, 361 St. Joseph Blvd, Hull, Quebec J8Y 3Z5
3 Hydro-Quebec, 76 Quest René Lesveque Blvd, Montréal, Québec H2Z lA4

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