Evaluation of Multipurpose Reservoir Operating Policies at Basin and Electric Power System Scales

Antonia Durán, Marcel Favereau, Álvaro Lorca, Sebastián Vicuña, Óscar Melo, Matías Negrete-Pincetic

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


Climatic phenomena, particularly hydrological droughts, have led to significant changes in reservoir operation strategies. Multipurpose reservoir operations are essential for effectively managing stored water resources for various activities like electricity generation and agricultural irrigation. Despite considerable efforts to support decision making for each economic activity, there remains a weak integration across these sectors in joint analyses. To address this, an integrated approach combining a model of a large power system and a model at the basin scale is proposed to analyze the operation of both power and agricultural systems. This approach allows evaluation of the operating policies of a multipurpose reservoir and its performance at both the local and regional scales under different hydrological scenarios. A modification is implemented whereby the priority of water extraction to agricultural users is increased. Its effects are assessed for different hydrological trajectories in a case study in the Laja Lake basin in southern Chile, the biggest Chilean basin with a capacity of up to 5,500 Hm3. The Laja Lake, a multipurpose reservoir with substantial hydroelectric generation capacity and extensive agricultural areas plays a crucial role in the operation of the national power system. Based on an analysis of 2025, it is demonstrated that hydrological changes directly impact electrical and agricultural performance. Drought conditions increase thermal generation, costs, emission intensity, and water deficits. Furthermore, the policy modification reveals tradeoffs between the power sector's emissions and agricultural water deficits. For drier scenarios, increasing agricultural extraction priority results in low additional operational costs and emissions from the power system, which supports adopting a policy aligned with netzero objectives.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo04024021
PublicaciónJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
EstadoPublicada - 1 jul. 2024

Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus

  • Ingeniería civil y de estructuras
  • Geografía, planificación y desarrollo
  • Ciencias del agua y tecnología
  • Gestión, supervisión, políticas y leyes


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