I. Corbu1


This and the following Section groups together papers related to the optimal operation of complex multipurpose multireservoir systems, with primary emphasis on hydropower uses. These papers were presented at the Third Water Resources Operations and Management Workshop held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, June 1988.
Over the last ten years, the development and implementation of systems analysis techniques for the operation of reservoirs in hydroelectric systems has made significant progress. Power utilities in both the United States and Canada have contributed significantly to these developments due to a combination of several factors.
The first factor that could be mentioned is the importance of hydroelectric generation in these two countries. Based on recent data published in: (1) the World Energy Statistics and issued by the United Nations; (2) the statistics prepared by the Energy Information Administration of the US Department of Energy; and (3) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; Canada and the United States are the top two countries in the world in terms of hydraulic electricity production. Their total hydraulic generation in 1986 was 307,700 GWh and 294,000 GWh respectively. Together, this represents about 30% of the total world hydraulic electricity production.
The second factor is the significant change in North American economic conditions. Uncertainties regarding the development of new generating resources has resulted in a change in the general strategy of power utilities. This has shifted the focus from finding and developing new sources of electricity to that of the most economic and environmentally sound utilization of existing facilities, including hydroelectric generating stations and reservoirs.
The third factor is the advance in computer hardware and software. Hardware advancements include the increase in speed and capacity of microcomputers, the development of high resolution graphic monitors, advanced laser printers and plotters, local area networks and supercomputers with vector hardware and parallel processors. On the software side the development of relational data bases, spreadsheet, graphics and screen formatting packages, communication packages, and expert system software, can be mentioned as examples. These technologic advances have made it possible to solve larger and more complex reservoir operating problems than in the past.
Other factors have also contributed indirectly to the increased importance placed on the efficient operation of reservoirs in hydroelectric systems. These include significant public opposition to the construction of new nuclear power stations and increased public concern over environmental issues related to the operation of fossil-fired stations.
The papers grouped in this section represent a cross section of the current practice of the American and Canadian power utilities in the application of computer-based decision support tools to the operation of reservoirs in hydroelectric systems. They include papers presented by power utilities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority….

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