Reservoir Operation Optimized for Hydropower Production Reduces Conflict with Traditional Water Uses in the Senegal River

Luciano Raso, Jean Claude Bader, Steven Weijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Manantali is a dam located on the Senegal River and is mainly used for hydropower production. Before the dam's construction, the annual river flood alimented the flood recession agriculture, a practice based on natural irrigation and fertilization of the flood plain, used traditionally by the local populations downstream. Analysis of the actual reservoir operation shows that annual floods have been largely reduced for the benefit of hydropower production. Moreover, the Senegal River Basin authority is evaluating the construction of different new dams, which could reduce even further the water available for flood support, given that the current operational focus is on satisfying hydropower demand. This study investigates the effects of an optimal reservoir operation strategy that maximizes hydropower production only, analyzing the results of this strategy in terms of effects on the two main objectives, i.e., hydropower production and flood support. The problem of finding optimal reservoir operation strategy is solved by applying the stochastic dual dynamic programming method. Results show the existence of a release strategy in which both objectives improve (+9% for hydropower and +7% for flood production) with respect to the historically observed operation. This solution, however, may require the electric system to compensate for the variability in energy supply along the year.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05020003
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Volume146
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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